Predicting Team Canada's roster

Breaking down the toughest Olympic lineup decisions and positional battles

Updated: November 25, 2013, 4:00 PM ET
By Frank Provenzano | ESPN Insider

Richard Wolowicz/Getty ImagesSteve Yzerman and Doug Armstrong face tough lineup decisions for Team Canada.

Some things are notable primarily for the sheer audacity of the excess that defines them. A-Rod's ego. Virtually anything associated with a Kardashian. Add to this list the roster alternatives for the Hockey Canada management team as it heads into the deadline month of December.

The issue here isn't so much who will be on the final Canadian Olympic team roster, but rather who won't be on the team that will likely compete for gold in Sochi. Here's my take on some of the roster questions that will be debated up north from every conceivable angle.


Forwards


Roster locks

Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim Ducks
Corey Perry, W, Anaheim Ducks
Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago Blackhawks
John Tavares, C, New York Islanders
Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins
Steven Stamkos, C, Tampa Bay Lightning

With a ridiculous amount of offensive firepower, it is difficult to "lock in" too many players on Canada's forward group without further comparative analysis. That being said, my top nine spots on the Canadian attack would have these six players chiseled in stone. I include Stamkos on this list because the Canadian team can invoke an "injury clause" and replace him on the roster at some point closer to the start of the tournament, and my guess is that the management team is willing to wait until the last possible moment to rule him out.