Will any Stars make the Team Canada squad?

December, 30, 2009
12/30/09
12:28
AM CT

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars coach Marc Crawford hopes to see a few of his players players named to Team Canada when the announcement is made at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dallas time.

"They've got a tough job," Crawford said. "There are so many good players. I'd like to see all of our guys, but I don't think they'll take all of them. I know our guys have done it the right way. They can help that team."


Here's a quick at the candidates.

Brad Richards: The Stars' No. 1 center has 10 goals and 34 assists, leading the club in points with 44. Among Canadian-born centers, Richards is third in points behind Joe Thornton and Sidney Crosby, two sure bets to make the squad. The problem is that Richards is a lot like those players, so it may make it difficult for him to make it. He's certainly been a steady force on the Stars this season and can play with nearly anybody.

Brenden Morrow: If Team Canada wants grit, tenacity and a leader, Morrow's a solid pick. The Stars captain has 25 points on the season, including 13 goals. He'll go to the areas of the ice that are tough to handle and make things happen. You don't want to be caught in a puck battle with him. And he camps out in front of the net, taking a beating at times, but creating chances as well.

James Neal: He certainly appears to be a candidate for the 2014 team -- and many more after that. But could Team Canada take a flier on the 22-year-old winger this year. He has the numbers to deserve the invite. Neal is second behind Michael Cammalleri in points by Canadian-born left wingers. He leads the Stars with 18 goals and third on the team with 33 points. If they really wanted to spice things up and add a guy who knows how to put the puck in the net and make things happen, Team Canada could take Neal. I doubt that though.

Stephane Robidas: He and Morrow were the only Stars players to participate in the orientation camp for Team Canada before the season began. Robidas is the Stars' top defenseman and as tough as they come. He had surgery on Monday and was on the ice for 25:44 on Tuesday and had four hits. As Crawford said after the game, Robidas certainly wasn't shying away from anything. He's a great competitor and makes solid reads. He's also not afraid to join in the rush to help generate some scoring chances. The problem: There's a gaggle of good defensemen available for selection.

Marty Turco: He's a longshot, certainly. He was on the team as the third goalie in 2004. But he struggled last season and has been inconsistent (like the rest of the Stars this season). But he is showing signs that he's coming around and was a big part of the Stars' win over Chicago on Monday. The reality is that the Canadian team has plenty of goalies to choose from.


My prediction: Morrow makes it. I think he brings nice energy, a veteran presence and some quiet leadership to the room.


Who do you think makes it from the Stars?

Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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