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Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan could be in Olympic picture

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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 ScrivensCam BarkerMax TalbotDerek Roy and Mason Raymond, all of whom played or signed with European clubs in the last year.

MORE: NHL releases schedule with no Olympic break

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Canada names Olympic men’s hockey coach

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Willie Desjardins was named Canada’s men’s hockey coach for the Olympics on Tuesday, three months after the Vancouver Canucks fired him after three seasons.

Desjardins, 60, will coach the first Canadian Olympic team without NHL participation since the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games.

Sean Burke, a 1988 and 1992 Canadian Olympic goalie, is the general manager.

With NHL players, Canada won the 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles. In PyeongChang, Canada can become the first nation to three-peat as Olympic men’s hockey champion since the Soviet Union in 1976.

Canada will use a series of tournaments in the next several months to evaluate players before it names its 25-man Olympic team.

Former NHL players Cam BarkerBen Scrivens and Max Talbot all played last season in the Russian KHL, which does take an Olympic break. All three will play for Canada in games in Russia in August.

Players in the American Hockey League, the top NHL feeder league, who aren’t on NHL contracts will also be eligible for PyeongChang.

Every Canadian Olympic men’s coach in the NHL participation era was also an NHL head coach that season — Marc Crawford (1998), Pat Quinn (2002 and 2006) and Mike Babcock (2010 and 2014).

The U.S. Olympic men’s hockey coach is expected to be announced in early August.

MORE: NHL releases schedule with no Olympic break

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Some AHL players will be allowed to play at Olympics

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Players on American Hockey League contracts will be eligible to play in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

President and CEO David Andrews confirmed through a league spokesman Wednesday that teams were informed they could loan players on AHL contracts to national teams for the purposes of participating in the PyeongChang Olympics.

The AHL sent a memo to its 30 clubs saying players could only be loaned for Olympic participation from Feb. 5-26.

The Olympic men’s hockey tournament runs from Feb. 9-25. Like the NHL, which is not having its players participate for the first time since 1994, the AHL does not have an Olympic break in its schedule.

The AHL’s decision does not affect players assigned to that league on NHL one- or two-way contracts. No final decision has been made about those players.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied a CBC report that the league had told its 31 teams that AHL players could be loaned to play in the Olympics. It was an AHL memo sent at the direction of that league’s board of governors.

When the NHL announced in April that it wouldn’t be sending players to South Korea after participating in five consecutive Olympics, Andrews said the AHL was prepared for Canada, the United States and other national federations to request players.

“I would guess we’re going to lose a fair number of players,” Andrews said in April. “Not just to Canada and the U.S., but we’re going to lose some players to other teams, as well. But we’re used to that. Every team in our league has usually got two or three guys who are on recalls to the NHL, so it’s not going to really change our competitive integrity or anything else.”

The U.S. and Canada are expected to rely heavily on players in European professional leagues and college and major junior hockey to fill out Olympic rosters without NHL players.

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