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We bring you Canada's second squad

1/8/2014

The parity in international hockey has never been greater. So despite all its talent, Team Canada isn’t an overwhelming favorite to win gold in Sochi -- but it is certainly among the favorites along with Russia, Sweden and the United States, in particular.

What remains true is that only Canada could ice a second full squad that you might look at and wonder if it could contend as well.

So play along with me for a second here and pretend that the IOC and IIHF one day decided to open up the Olympic men’s hockey field to a second Canadian entry, given the NHL talent pool from the Great White North. Imagine that for a moment Hockey Canada made me the GM. (It’s not too far-fetched, so stop laughing. I can hear you.)

And with that, I give you my Team Canada B squad:

FORWARDS

Claude Giroux

Joe Thornton

Logan Couture

Eric Staal

James Neal

Martin St. Louis

Tyler Seguin

Jordan Eberle

Taylor Hall

Mike Richards

Jason Spezza

Jeff Skinner

Milan Lucic

Andrew Ladd

DEFENSEMEN

Brent Seabrook

Dan Boyle

Marc Staal

Mark Giordano

Dion Phaneuf

Kris Letang

Francois Beauchemin

Karl Alzner

Kevin Bieksa

GOALTENDERS

Corey Crawford

Marc-Andre Fleury

Josh Harding

The skinny: So, you’re telling me this B squad is stronger down the middle with Giroux, Thornton, Couture, Staal, Seguin, Spezza and Richards (two of whom would play wing) than Team USA's real-life Olympic team is? Well, yeah, you could argue that, I guess.

Overall, I still left off forwards such as Brent Burns, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, David Perron and Evander Kane. Imagine the outrage!

On defense, I somehow managed to leave off Mike Green, but what can I say, I like the eight guys I picked. Nice balance of offense and defense plus the left-right split.

In goal, Crawford and Fleury were the guys I know Team Canada talked about as a possible fit instead of Mike Smith as the third netminder on the A team.

So, what do you think of this team, good enough to compete in Sochi in the top six? I’d say so.