Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan, two 40-year-old forwards mulling continuing NHL careers, might have another option: the Canadian Olympic team in PyeongChang.
“Those are guys that we will definitely consider, guys that we will think a lot about,” Team Canada general manager Sean Burke said in a radio interview Tuesday after ex-Vancouver Canucks coach Willie Desjardins was named Canada’s Olympic head coach.
Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney echoed Burke, with one key caveat.
“You cannot not look at [Iginla and Doan],” Renney said on TSN. “The bottom line is, though, everyone should be active from this point forward if they want consideration as an Olympic player. There’s no exceptions to that, quite honestly.”
Iginla and Doan, two multiple-time NHL All-Stars, are not currently active in that both players had contracts end after this past season and have not signed with another club.
They may retire from the NHL, which would make them available for international play this fall and, potentially, the Olympics in February. Players in the NHL next season will be ineligible for the Olympics as the league will not take an Olympic break for the first time since 1994.
Iginla, an Olympian in 2002, 2006 and 2010, split last season with the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings.
Doan, a 2006 Olympian, spent the last 21 years with the Phoenix Coyotes franchise.
The GM Burke declined to speculate on if Canada would take Sidney Crosby to the Olympics if Crosby defied the NHL and insisted he wanted to go to PyeongChang anyway.
“That’s not even something that right now, as a staff, myself personally, we have even thought about or put any really time into,” Burke said. “Those things will play out, however they play out, we’ll deal with it at the time.
As for now, Hockey Canada has a general idea from where the 25-man Olympic team will come.
“Most of our players will be guys that come from Europe, playing in the KHL … the odd AHL guy,” and, “there might be a guy in college,” Burke said.
Canada did name rosters for its first two pre-Olympic tournaments in Russia in August. Those teams are headlined by former NHL players Ben Scrivens, Cam Barker, Max Talbot, Derek Roy and Mason Raymond, all of whom played or signed with European clubs in the last year.
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