The twenty five names to carry Canada's hopes for a Gold medal in Hockey at the Sochi Olympics were announced on Tuesday, many of them expected a few of them surprises.
The thankless task of assembling the roster going to a committee led by Steve Yzerman, the collective fully aware that if Canada does indeed claim Gold then all will be hailed as geniuses and with that, if Canada should stumble, then every armchair GM in the nation will hold up their list of 25 as the one that could have won the day.
While the majority of the team was announced as expected, there were a few surprises, a few names added, a few left off that have formed much of the debate since Tuesday's announcement.
The three players that have held the most attention for their absence from the announced roster are Martin St. Louis, Claude Giroux and defenceman Brent Seabrook.
Many felt that St. Louis was destined for a spot on the roster considering his season in Tampa Bay, where for the most part he's been the glue that has held the squad together in the absence of the injured Steven Stamkos. The fact that Tampa is still mentioned in the same breath as a playoff possibility, seems completely on the shoulders of St. Louis.
He handled the disappointment of the Team Canada announcement with class and won more fans over on Tuesday, most likely pencilled in as the first to call should injuries require a tweaking of the Team Canada roster.
Likewise, Claude Giroux's offensive output continues to make its mark this season, with more than a few Team Canada reviewers bemoaning that lost offensive skill come February in Sochi.
Many thought that the chemistry between Duncan Keith would secure him a spot on the roster, but it seems that in the end Team Canada chose speed over stay at home stability for the final back end position.
All of that being said, the roster as announced provides a good mix of skill and experience, skating perhaps trumping the more physical assets, as might be expected on the large stage of Olympic ice.
From today through to the first puck drop in Sochi, fans of Team Canada will be reviewing the roster, comparing the stats, contemplating the combinations and wondering if this is the group to bring Gold home.
Or if perhaps in the midst of all those meetings over the last few months, chemistry has been altered and with fortune will be changed.
We find out in less than month, if this month offers up no shortage of second guessing from Canada's hockey legions, one wonders what it all may be like when February comes to an end and the flame of the Olympic games is extinguished in Sochi.
Reviews and thoughts on the Team Canada announcement can be found below:
January 8-- Thorough Team Canada selection process trumps armchair hockey GMs: Hitchcock
January 8-- Former Flames defence man Bouwmeester thrilled with Team Canada inclusion
January 7-- No shortage of surprises as Team Canada builds roster around Sidney Crosby
January 7-- How choosing Canada's hockey team was a 'difficult exercise' for Steve Yzerman
January 7-- Olympics a prefect stage for habs' Subban
January 7-- Price and Subban excited to be named to Team Canada
January 7-- Team Canada's best shot might not be enough: Cox
January 7-- The All-Snub Team: Canada's incredible Olympic Hockey B Team
January 7-- Speed and smarts were prerequisites for roster spot on Team Canada
January 7-- Crosby once again welcomes pressure of being Canada's marked man
January 7-- Naming of Team Canada unites hockey-mad nation
January 7-- Hamhuis snags first Team Canada roster berth
January 7-- Team Canada debates rage on as roster is announced
January 7-- Team Canada's roster superlative - so long as they win: Feschuk
January 7-- Zize breaks down Canada's Olympic roster
January 7-- Steve Yzerman says Christ Kunitz perfect complement to teammate Sidney Crosby
January 7-- Three Saskatchewan born NHL players make Olympic hockey roster
January 7-- MacKinnon, Hall, Eberle take Olympic omission in stride
January 7-- Team Canada's Sochi Olympics roster
January 7-- Crosby headlines Canada's Olympic hockey roster
January 7-- Emotional day for players who were snubbed by Team Canada
January 7-- Spezza feels for St. Louis...
January 7-- Nothing is ever guaranteed in Olympic hockey tournament
January 7-- Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman made right choice by picking P. K. Subban
January 7-- Introducing Canada's 'B' squad for the Sochi Olympics
January 7-- Canucks Roberto Luongo, Dan Hamhius 'proud, excited' to play for Team Canada at Sochi
January 7-- Sochi selection the toughest job in hockey
January 7-- Hammer ready for shutdown role in Sochi
January 7-- Sid feels like a kid again after call to Sochi
January 7-- Is Canada's embrace of Crosby pay Kunitz like bringing 'a plow horse to a turnout of thoroughbreds"?
January 7-- Kunitz, St. Louis among final tough decisions for Yzerman's staff