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Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews among Canada's 12 Olympic returnees

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World Cup of Hockey: Team Canada (0:51)

Barry Melrose reviews the newly announced Team Canada for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey in Toronto next September. Melrose says this is the best team in the tournament and all the rest will have to go through Team Canada to get to the Gold. (0:51)

TORONTO -- Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Drew Doughty were among a dozen Olympic returnees on Team Canada's first 16 World Cup roster, which included few surprises Wednesday.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price was also among the 16 players named, but whether he plays in the September tournament remains to be seen. Price, the reigning Hart Trophy winner and NHL MVP, was limited to 12 games this season with a suspected right knee injury and has been out since Nov. 25.

But Team Canada GM Doug Armstrong and his management staff still consider Price the best goalie in the world and saw no issue with naming him now, given how far out the actual tournament is.

"When we got to the 1st of February, we talked as a group and I talked to Carey with [Canadiens GM] Marc [Bergevin], to say, 'Here are our options. You're obviously, when healthy, the No. 1 goalie on the planet based on your previous work. Do you want to be named to this team?'" Armstrong said.

"Then we gave him a couple of weeks to digest all the options. During that time, Marc talked to [Habs] ownership to make sure they were comfortable with the decision we were going to make. Obviously this is a big tournament for hockey, but Carey Price is a huge piece for the Montreal Canadiens, so we wanted to make sure the Canadiens team and ownership was comfortable with the decision."

Price then told Armstrong he wanted to be named to the team, while also understanding the options should he need to pull out.

"We included him in the process," Armstrong said. "We wanted to make sure he was comfortable with the decision we were going to make."

Any player can be replaced for injury, so there is no risk in naming Price, who was in goal in February 2014 when Canada won its second consecutive Olympic gold medal in men's hockey.

Canada is also the defending World Cup of Hockey champion, winning the tournament when it was last played in September 2004.

Other Olympic returnees from 2014 announced Wednesday: Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks, Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and John Tavares of the New York Islanders.

Also named Wednesday were goalies Corey Crawford of the Blackhawks and Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals. Team Canada made the interesting decision to take up all three goalie slots and not leave an opening ahead of the June 1 roster deadline to name the remaining seven players.

"We named three goalies because we believe these are the best three goalies right now for us," Armstrong said. "Also, if for whatever reason one of them can't play, we wanted the other two to understand that there wasn't an add-on, or you weren't considered in that echelon of goaltender."

Tyler Seguin of the Stars and Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning complete the 16-player roster announced Wednesday. Stamkos missed the Sochi Olympics because of his recovery from a broken leg that season.

With arguably the deepest talent pool in hockey, Team Canada always has notable omissions. Among the top names Wednesday were Corey Perry of the Ducks, Joe Thornton of the Sharks, Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers, Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and P.K. Subban of the Canadiens.

Of course, those players and more all remain in the mix for the seven remaining spots.

"In talking to [head coach] Mike [Babcock], he wants players that he knows what he's going to get from shift in and shift out," Armstrong said. "That's not just on the right side of defense. I think that's throughout his lineup.

"Mike likes predictability, and he likes hockey sense. He likes players who can adapt quickly. He runs a great practice, he runs great meetings, but you have to be on your toes. If you can't keep up to the pace of the play mentally, then it's hard to play for Mike. So we're looking for guys who have the ability to think the game quickly, to play at a high level, to balance risk and reward, and to make smart decisions. I think we had that in Sochi."

Team Canada has won four of the past six "best-on-best" international hockey tournaments dating back to when the NHL first began participating in the Olympics, winning in Salt Lake City in 2002, the World Cup in 2004, the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 and at Sochi in 2014.

The Czech Republic won the first NHL Olympic tournament, in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, and Sweden took gold at the 2006 Torino Olympics.