Eric Staal to captain Canada's men's Olympic hockey team in Beijing

Olympic gold medallist and former NHL veteran Eric Staal has been tapped to captain Canada's men's hockey team at the Olympics in Beijing.

Desharnais, Noreau will serve as alternate captains

Eric Staal, pictured above at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, will lead Canada's men's hockey team in Beijing. (Tara Walton/The Canadian Press)

Olympic gold medallist and former NHL veteran Eric Staal has been tapped to captain Canada's men's hockey team at the Olympics in Beijing.

Fellow former NHL player David Desharnais and 2018 Olympic bronze medallist Maxim Noreau will serve alongside Staal as alternate captains. 

Staal, of Thunder Bay, Ont., previously won gold with Canada at the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010. 

"The opportunity to represent Canada at the Olympics is very special, and being named captain is an honour and something I take a lot of pride in," Staal said.

"David and Maxim are great leaders and players, and they are deserving of this recognition. Our entire team is excited for the opportunity to be a part of Team Canada, and we look forward to competing for a gold medal in Beijing."

The 25-player roster of non-NHL players was announced on Jan. 25, and the team gathered in Davos, Switzerland for an eight-day training camp ahead of the Games.

Canada will kick off the men's hockey tournament on Feb. 10 against Germany, and will also play the United States on Feb. 12 and China on Feb. 13 to wrap up preliminary-round action. 

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