Howden eyes gold in third stint with Team Canada at Pyeongchang – Article
Last week, Quinton Howden stayed awake into the wee hours of the morning in Minsk, Belarus, tuning into TSN to watch his younger brother, Brett, capture gold for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship.
Next month, Brett hopes to return the favour.
Howden was one of 25 players named to Team Canada’s Men’s Olympic hockey team on Thursday, the first without NHL participation since the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
Howden, an Oakbank, Man. product, will look to complete his Hockey Canada trifecta, hoping to add gold to the silver and bronze he won at the World Juniors in 2011 and 2012.
Team Canada will face Switzerland in its first preliminary round game on Feb. 15 in South Korea, the culmination of nearly a year’s worth of scouting and preparation for general manager Sean Burke, assistant Martin Brodeur and head coach Willie Desjardins.
Burke cast a net far and wide to find Canada’s best talent playing abroad, pulling in 13 players from Russia’s KHL, four from Switzerland’s NLA, three from the Swedish Hockey League, one from Germany’s DEL, one from Austria’s EBEL and three from the AHL.
With the NHL prohibiting players under contract from participating, Team Canada was limited to inviting those on AHL-only, one-way deals: Chris Kelly (Belleville), Christian Thomas (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) and Cody Goloubef (Stockton).
Team Canada chose not to invite major junior players from the Canadian Hockey League. Unlike Team USA, which will feature three college players in Will Borgen, Ryan Donato and Jordan Greenway, Team Canada will also not have any players from the NCAA ranks.
Defenceman Cale Makar, who starred for Canada at the World Juniors in Buffalo, declined an invitation from Hockey Canada to focus on his game at UMass-Amherst.
Big-game experience shouldn’t be a factor for Team Canada – at least not at forward. Team Canada’s forwards have a whopping 4,946 NHL games under their belt, compared to just 321 among the eight defencemen.
Netminders Ben Scrivens, Justin Peters and Kevin Poulin have all made NHL starts. In fact, all but two of Canada’s 25 players have appeared in at least one NHL game.
Those two are blueliners Chris Lee and Mat Robinson.
Lee, 37, is a great story of perseverance on a roster chock full of them. The MacTier, Ont., native played NCAA Div. III hockey at SUNY-Potsdam in New York, then carved out a pro career starting in the ECHL before making his way to Europe in 2010, where he has played since.
Lee helped Team Canada to a silver medal at last year’s World Championship in France and Germany as the only non-NHL player on the roster.
Forward Wojtek Wolski, a Toronto native who played for the Avalanche, Coyotes, Rangers, Panthers and Capitals, broke his neck a little over a year ago in a KHL game on Oct. 13, 2016.
Long-time NHLer Chris Kelly, who played all 82 games with the Ottawa Senators last season, will look to add a gold medal to the Stanley Cup in his trophy case.
Team Canada used three pre-Olympic tournaments – the Karjala Cup, Channel One Cup and Spengler Cup – to pare down the roster. Notable cuts included P.A. Parenteau, Simon Despres, Max Talbot, Matt Ellison, Nick Spaling, Teddy Purcell, Jay McClement, Zach Boychuk and Matt Frattin.
Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli
|René Bourque||L||6’2||216||Lac La Biche, Alta.||Djurgårdens IF (SHL)|
|Gilbert Brulé||R||5’11||187||Edmonton, Alta.||Kunlun Red Star (KHL)|
|Andrew Ebbett||L||5’9||176||Vernon, B.C.||SC Bern (NLA)|
|Quinton Howden||L||6’2||190||Oakbank, Man.||Dinamo Minsk (KHL)|
|Chris Kelly||L||6’0||194||Toronto, Ont.||Belleville (AHL)|
|Rob Klinkhammer||R||6’3||214||Lethbridge, Alta.||Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)|
|Brandon Kozun||R||5’8||170||Calgary, Alta.||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)|
|Maxim Lapierre||R||6’0||216||Brossard, Que.||HC Lugano (NLA)|
|Eric O’Dell||R||6’1||201||Ottawa, Ont.||HC Sochi (KHL)|
|Mason Raymond||L||6’1||179||Cochrane, Alta.||SC Bern (NLA)|
|Derek Roy||L||5’9||187||Rockland, Ont.||Linköping HC (SHL)|
|Christian Thomas||R||5’9||174||Toronto, Ont.||Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)|
|Linden Vey||R||6’0||190||Wakaw, Sask.||Barys Astana (KHL)|
|Wojtek Wolski||L||6’3||220||Zabrze, POL||Kunlun Red Star (KHL)|
|Stefan Elliott||R||6’1||190||Vancouver, B.C.||HV71 (SHL)|
|Chay Genoway||L||5’9||170||Morden, Man.||Lada Togliatti (KHL)|
|Cody Goloubef||R||6’1||200||Oakville, Ont.||Stockton (AHL)|
|Marc-Andre Gragnani||L||6’3||205||L’Ill-Bizard, Que.||HC Dinamo Minsk (KHL)|
|Chris Lee||L||6’0||187||MacTier, Ont.||Metallurg Magnitigorsk (KHL)|
|Maxim Noreau||R||6’0||198||Montreal, Que.||SC Bern (NLA)|
|Mat Robinson||R||5’10||185||Calgary, Alta.||CSKA Moscow (KHL)|
|Karl Stollery||L||5’11||181||Camrose, Alta.||Dinamo Riga (KHL)|
|Justin Peters||L||6’1||210||Blythe, Ont.||Kölner Haie (DEL)|
|Kevin Poulin||L||6’2||205||Montreal, Que.||Medvescak Zagreb (EBEL)|
|Ben Scrivens||L||6’2||181||Spruce Grove, Alta.||Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)|