With the 2006 Winter Olympic Games disappointment fresh in the minds of Canadian hockey fans everywhere, a changing of the guard was inevitable. Long gone are Canadian hockey heroes like Gretzky, Messier, Lemieux, Yzerman and Sakic. These men were the face of Canadian hockey for two decades and led Canada to elevated levels of success and with that, elevated levels of public scrutiny. The achievements of these great players are what today’s hockey players are measured.
Enter the new generation of Team Canada hockey. Fresh, young faces eager to suit up the Red and White and take to the ice in hopes of bringing home Gold once again and re-establishing Canada as the most powerful hockey nation in the world.
Team Canada will be loaded. We could easily field two teams to compete at the Olympics. There is no questioning the talent this country produces. One special talent is the captain and unquestioned leader of the Calgary Flames, Jarome Iginla.
Iginla will be leaned on heavily this February in Vancouver. His experience and professionalism on and off the ice will be an influential factor in bringing the younger generation of Canadian hockey players up to the next level. Players such as Crosby, Richards, Carter, Nash and Getzlaf will all benefit from being around Iginla, one of the greatest sports leaders this generation of Canadians will ever see.
There is talk in hockey circles as to who should be captain of Team Canada. Most people agree that Iginla or Scott Niedermayer should wear the “C” when the boys lace up the skates in February. If you ask me, there is no better player or person than Jarome Iginla to lead Canada back to the promise land that is Olympic Gold!