The first three members of the 2022 Canadian Olympic team have been announced, as general manager Doug Armstrong revealed to Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com that Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, and Alex Pietrangelo have made the team. Each participating country was required to declare three players, while the full “long-list” of 55 potential names will be submitted by October 15.
Crosby is an easy choice and likely the team’s captain, after finding so much success at the head of Team Canada in the past. The 34-year-old center has won World Junior, World Championship, World Cup, and Olympic Gold (x2) throughout his dazzling career, including scoring one of the most well-known goals in Canadian hockey history at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. A three-time Stanley Cup champion, two-time Conn Smythe winner, two-time Hart Trophy winner, there was never any thought of leaving Crosby off of the team.
If Crosby is the legend, McDavid is the focus though, entering his first Olympics as the best player in the world. The 24-year-old has won gold at the World Juniors and World Championship but hasn’t been able to suit up for Team Canada at the Olympic level to this point due to the NHL not going in 2018. The reigning Hart winner, McDavid had 105 points in just 56 games last season and has already won the Art Ross Trophy three times in a six-year NHL career. There’s no doubt he will be the forward that the rest of the roster is built around, and it makes sense he would be announced at this early stage.
Pietrangelo may be the most surprising of the three, but that doesn’t mean he’s much of a surprise. The 31-year-old has his own long history of success with Team Canada, taking home World Junior, Olympic, and World Cup gold medals. He has a long history with Armstrong from their days in St. Louis and there was little doubt he would be one of the defensemen to suit up in February. Pietrangelo finished fourth in Norris Trophy voting in 2020 and has received votes for the award in seven different seasons.
The list of potential names that will be submitted later this month will include many that won’t end up going to Beijing, making the first part of this NHL season something of a tryout. Only these three have their spots guaranteed, but that wasn’t something that really was in question even before this announcement.