Sidney Crosby, who scored the winning goal in a 3-2 overtime win over the United States in the 2010 Olympic gold-medal game in Vancouver, also will be front and centre at the Aug. 25-28 camp in Calgary to prepare for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Fifteen of the 23 players on Canada’s 2010 roster have been invited to the summer camp including goalie Roberto Luongo, defencemen Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty and forwards Jonathan Toews, Eric Staal and Corey Perry.
Returning as head coach is Mike Babcock along with assistants Ken Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff. Claude Julien was announced Monday as a third associate coach.
The long-awaited deal for the NHL to sends its players to Sochi didn’t come until Friday, with the league and its players giving the green light for a fifth time.
It’s believed the Canadian squad will not completely take shape until early in the 2013-14 NHL campaign as Olympic rosters are not due until Dec. 31.
“With Canada, there’s so many guys who could for that team,” Crosby told reporters last week, “but I think that the first half of the season will obviously have a big bearing on that, and we’ll see who kind of starts well and gets those opportunities.”
Teams will be asked to submit a 25-man roster, which includes two more players from the 2010 Games. Each country can now name 22 skaters and three goaltenders.
The NHL first competed at the Olympics in 1998 in Nagano, Japan. This time, the league will shut down on Feb. 9 and resume Feb. 26, three days after the gold-medal contest.
The men’s tournament, which is expected to feature about 170 NHLers, begins Feb. 12 with games shown live on CBC Television and CBCSports.ca.
Canada won gold in Salt Lake City in 2002 and finished seventh in Turin, Italy four years later.
Team Canada will be in Group B with Austria, Finland and Norway.