Hockey Canada is considering adding junior players to the national men’s team it will send to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the development during Hockey Night in Canada‘s Headlines segment on Saturday, saying the Hockey Canada brass has reached out to the CHL about adding a couple of players – likely forwards – to the Olympic team.
“Right now, they’re not getting a lot of acceptance on the idea,” Friedman said. “The junior teams don’t want to lose players – they might go to the World Juniors, they don’t want to risk losing them for the Olympics too. I think there’s a hope right now that common sense will prevail, but there’s no agreement at this point in time and they do want to sort this out pretty soon.”
The Canadian squad’s management group continues to look for options to bolster an Olympic team that won’t include the usual cast of NHL participants. The league announced earlier this year that it will not allow its players to participate in the 2018 Olympics, marking the first time since 1994 that the tournament will feature non-NHLers representing their countries.
Hockey Canada sent a prospective group to compete in two August tournaments, the Sochi Hockey Open and the Nikolai Puchkov Tournament, in an effort to pin down the list of names that will populate that eventual national team. The 45 players who appeared in those tilts, including former NHLers like Mason Raymond and Ben Scrivens, either play in Europe or remain without an NHL deal.
Friedman reported earlier this month that Hockey Canada will reach out to future Hall of Famer, and current unrestricted free agent, Jarome Iginla as well, and will invite him to play for the Canadian squad at the upcoming Karjala Cup in November.