A conservative Steve Yzerman says there are maybe 10 players considered locks right now to be part of the Canadian Olympic men's hockey team in Sochi, Russia, come February.
The likes of Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Steven Stamkos, Patrice Bergeron and John Tavares would probably be on the list.
That means 15 spots are up for grabs as Canada looks to defend gold after Crosby scored in overtime at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver for a 3-2 win over the United States.
Steep insurance costs will keep the 46 players at the Canadian Olympic orientation camp in Calgary off the ice this week, so a strong start to the NHL season in October and November will be crucial for those considered long shots or dark horses before the Dec. 31 deadline for submitting Olympic rosters.
The gallery above features 10 players who are likely in a battle to secure a spot on Canada’s 25-man roster for the Olympic tournament, which runs Feb. 8-25.