PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – As the team moves in to the Athlete Village and prepares for its final pre-tournament game ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Canada’s Olympic Men’s Team has revealed the names of the six players who will make up its leadership group.
Wearing the ‘C’ for the red-and-white is Chris Kelly (Toronto/Belleville, AHL), supported by a seasoned group in René Bourque (Lac La Biche, Alta./Djurgårdens IF, SHL), Andrew Ebbett (Vernon, B.C./SC Bern, NLA), Chris Lee (MacTier, Ont./Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL), Derek Roy (Rockland, Ont./Linköping HC, SHL), and Maxim Noreau (Montreal/SC Bern, NLA).
“We are very fortunate that this team is full of leaders, and I think that reflects very well on the type of people that hockey produces,” said head coach Willie Desjardins (Climax, Sask.), of the selection. “This leadership group will set the pace not only on the ice with their drive and work ethic, but also off the ice as we all embrace the tremendous opportunity to represent Canada and Canada’s game on the world stage in PyeongChang.”
Bourque, Ebbett, Lee, and Roy will rotate wearing the ‘A’ as on-ice alternate captains during the tournament.
Chris Kelly’s playing career includes a Spengler Cup championship with Canada in 2017, and winning the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2012. Kelly played 833 NHL games, including 82 with the Ottawa Senators last season. His Major Junior career was spent with the OHL’s London Knights and Sudbury Wolves.
René Bourque has represented Canada at the 2017 Channel One Cup, the 2017 Karjala Cup, and the 2010 IIHF World Championship. Following four seasons of NCAA hockey with the University of Wisconsin, Bourque logged ice time with AHL and NHL teams over 12 seasons, including the Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, and Colorado Avalanche.
Andrew Ebbett won back-to-back Spengler Cup championships for Canada (2016, 2017), in addition to wearing the Maple Leaf at the 2017 Karjala Cup, and the 2017 Sochi Open. Ebbett currently leads SC Bern in scoring, and won the NLA championship with the team in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Ebbett served as captain for one season during his four years of NCAA hockey with the University of Michigan before moving on to playing nine seasons in the AHL and NHL with teams such as Anaheim, where he made his NHL debut, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver.
Chris Lee has won two silver medals for Canada – at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, and the 2016 Deutschland Cup – in addition to representing his country at the 2012 Deutschland Cup, 2017 Karjala Cup, and 2017 Channel One Cup. Lee led the Magnitogorsk defencemen in scoring in 2015-16 and 2016-17, and won the KHL’s Gagarin Cup with the team in 2016. During his amateur career, Lee captained the Parry Sound Shamrocks of the OPJHL in 1999-2000.
Derek Roy has won gold for Canada at the 2000 Four Nations Cup in Slovakia with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, silver at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship in Halifax, silver at the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland, and is a 2015 Spengler Cup champion. Drafted in the second round of the 2001 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, Roy led the team in scoring during the 2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10 seasons. Roy captained the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers in 2002-03, the year the Club won the Memorial Cup.
Maxim Noreau is a three-time Spengler Cup champion (2012, 2016, 2017) who also represented Canada at the Spengler Cup in 2013, at the 2017 Sochi Hockey Open, and at the 2017 Channel One Cup. Noreau won the NLA championship with SC Bern in his first season with the team (2016-17), and has been a leading defenceman in scoring during his four seasons in the NLA. He played three seasons with the Tigres de Victoriaville (QMJHL) during his amateur career, serving as captain of the team during the 2006-07 season.
Canada in final preparation for Olympic Games
On January 11, the 25 players selected to Canada’s Olympic Men’s Hockey Team were announced. The team gathered in Riga, Latvia, for its pre-competition camp, and blanked both Latvia and Belarus in pre-tournament action. The Canadian squad travelled to South Korea on Wednesday, and will face Sweden in Incheon on Sunday in a final pre-Olympic tune-up.
The players were selected by Canada’s National Men’s Team general manager Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Montreal, NHL), management group member Martin Brodeur (Montreal/St. Louis, NHL), Hockey Canada’s chief executive officer, Tom Renney (Cranbrook, B.C.), president and chief operating officer, Scott Smith (Bathurst, N.B.), and vice-president of hockey operations and national teams, Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), with input from the coaching staff – Desjardins and assistant coaches Dave King (Saskatoon, Sask.), Scott Walker (Cambridge, Ont./Vancouver, NHL), and Craig Woodcroft (Toronto/Genève-Servette HC, NLA).
The Olympic men’s hockey tournament opens on Friday, Feb. 15 at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, when Canada – playing in Group A – meets Switzerland. The gold-medal game is set to take place on Feb. 25.