NHL·Point of View

Olympic hockey fans opt for youth over experience

Some CBCSports.ca readers believe it's time to get rid of some of the old and bring in new, fresh faces to join the usual suspects when the Canadian Olympic men's hockey team takes the ice at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

CBCSports.ca readers give 2014 nod to Stamkos, Giroux, Tavares, others

From left, John Tavares and Steven Stamkos, seen here at the 2010 world hockey championship, lead the new wave of young Canadian players that CBCSports.ca readers would like to see play at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press/File))

See you later, Joe Thornton, Jarome Iginla and Brad Richards. Step aside, P.K. Subban, Brent Burns and 2012 NHL playoff standout Mike Smith.

And sorry Dan Boyle, a two-time Olympian on Canada’s blue-line, but some CBCSports.ca readers believe it’s time to get rid of some of the old and bring in new, fresh faces to join the usual suspects when they take the ice at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

While the inclusion of National Hockey League players in the Olympic tournament remains unclear, we decided to move the process forward and ask you to select 12 forwards, seven defencemen and three goalies from the list of players we provided.

Results — Forwards (64,674 votes)

  • * Sidney Crosby, 8.37%
  • * Jonathan Toews, 7.99%
  • * Steven Stamkos, 7.88%
  • * Claude Giroux, 6.72%
  • * John Tavares, 6.06%
  • * Jordan Eberle, 6.03%
  • * Rick Nash, 6%
  • * Eric Staal, 5.46%
  • * Corey Perry, 5.18%
  • * Ryan Getzlaf, 4.54%
  • * Tyler Seguin, 3.84%
  • * Taylor Hall, 3.28
  • Joe Thornton, 3.13%
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 3.07%
  • Jordan Staal, 2.87%
  • Mike Richards, 2.69%
  • Jarome Iginla, 2.67%
  • Brad Richards, 2.59%
  • Milan Lucic, 2.41%
  • James Neal, 2.18%
  • Jamie Benn, 2.1%
  • Jeff Skinner, 1.83%
  • Logan Couture, 1.72%
  • Matt Duchene, 1.38%

*voted onto roster by readers

Perhaps Steve Yzerman, Canada’s executive director, will follow the heed of our readers and opt for youth instead of veterans such as Iginla and Richards, who will be 36 and 33, respectively, when the Olympics begin in a year’s time.

At the forward position, it was no surprise that Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was most popular among fans, garnering 8.37 per cent of the 64,674 votes cast.

It was Sid the Kid who lifted Team Canada to victory at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, scoring the "golden goal" in a 3-2 overtime thriller against the United States to give Canada a national record for a Winter Games with 26 medals.

In all, readers voted back 12 of the 23 Canadian players from 2010.

Chicago Blackhawks star forward Jonathan Toews competed in Vancouver and received the second-most votes (7.99 per cent) among forwards for Sochi.

Steven Stamkos, 23, and fellow youngsters Claude Giroux (25) and John Tavares (22) rounded out the top five at 7.88 per cent, 6.72 and 6.06.

They are joined by 2010 returnees Rick Nash, Eric Staal, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, along with newcomers Jordan Eberle, Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall.

Defensively, 25,950 voters liked the 2010 foursome of Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Shea Weber. Young blue-liners like St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo and Marc Staal of the New York Rangers were more popular than Boyle, while fans also would also prefer watching Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and Chicago’s Brent Seabrook.

Results — Defence (25,950 votes)

  • * Shea Weber, 13.98%
  • * Drew Doughty, 13.91%
  • * Duncan Keith, 13.13%
  • * Kris Letang, 11.61%
  • * Brent Seabrook, 9.67%
  • * Alex Pietrangelo, 8.65%
  • * Marc Staal, 8.35%
  • Dan Boyle, 6.7%
  • P.K. Subban, 5.93%
  • Tyler Myers, 3.28%
  • Dougie Hamilton, 2.44%
  • Brent Burns, 2.33%

*voted onto roster by readers

Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger patrolled the blue-line in Vancouver but are unlikely to play in Russia due to retirement and post-concussion syndrome, respectively. Pronger hasn’t played since Nov. 19, 2011.

Many believe goaltender Martin Brodeur won’t be back for a fifth Olympics, despite a strong start to the NHL season (2.29 goals-against average and .911 save percentage).

That means it’s Carey Price’s net, according to 2,265 CBCSports.ca respondents, after he grabbed 32 per cent of the votes.

Like Brodeur, Roberto Luongo is shining in Vancouver this season (1.53, .940) and picked up 22.41 per cent of votes, followed by Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury (19.26), who beat out Carolina’s Cam Ward (14.34 per cent), Phoenix’s Mike Smith (6.7) and St. Louis’ Brian Elliott (5.28). Luongo, Brodeur and Fleury was the goaltending troika in 2010.

Results - Goalies (2,265 votes)

  • * Carey Price, 32%
  • * Roberto Luongo, 22.41%
  • * Marc-Andre Fleury, 19.26%
  • Cam Ward, 14.34%
  • Mike Smith, 6.7%
  • Brian Elliott, 5.28%

*voted onto roster by readers

Since NHL players debuted at the Olympics in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, there has been talk of how Canada could ice two competitive squads.

Check out this roster that didn’t measure up to CBCSports.ca followers:

  • Forwards: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Staal, Mike Richards, Milan Lucic, James Neal, Jamie Benn, Jeff Skinner, Logan Couture, Matt Duchene, Jarome Iginla, Joe Thornton and Brad Richards.
  • Defence: P.K. Subban, Tyler Myers, Dougie Hamilton, Brent Burns and Boyle.
  • Goalies: Cam Ward, Mike Smith and Brian Elliott.