Martin Brodeur is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and the future Hall of Fame goaltender will have the opportunity to win a third in 2018 as part of the management group for Hockey Canada’s national men’s team.
When Brodeur represented Canada he was surrounded by an all-star roster chock full of some of the most talented players in the NHL. At PyeongChang 2018 that won’t be the case since the NHL will not be participating in the Games this time around.
“It is definitely different,” Brodeur told Jef Blair on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Wednesday. “Before it was an easy conversation trying to get the guys to come and everything but now we’re dealt these cards and we’re going to have a lot of players that are playing in Europe.”
Brodeur and the Team Canada brass, headed up by GM Sean Burke, have roughly seven months to make their decisions and the four-time Vezina Trophy winner is excited about the challenge for piecing together a team of non-NHLers.
“It’s going to give a great opportunity for some guys that never thought they were going to play in the Olympics and to have a crack at a medal and that’s something that’ll be fun to be a part of,” Brodeur said. “At the end of the day, every team is back in it now. Before Sweden, Finland, Canada, U.S. [were the favourites] but now countries like Germany and Switzerland and Czech Republic, they believe they have a chance to win because the [NHL players] are not there.
“For sure Russia is going to be a good team. Sweden, a lot of their top players are in the NHL so they’re going to be in the same boat as us. It puts every country on more of a level playing field so that’s why I think this tournament’s going to be fun.”
While the majority of Canada’s roster is likely to be comprised of non-NHL professionals, Brodeur added he and his peers would be open to potentially including some of the country’s youngest available talent on the roster.
“After the NHL training camps, I think that’s where we’re going to make our decisions what direction we’re going to go—especially for some of the junior players.”