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2014 Winter Olympics

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Kunitz made Team Canada on own merit

Chris Kunitz
Justin Aller, Getty Images

According to Steve Yzerman, the Canadian Olympic hockey team executive director on Tuesday, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz made the Canadian Olympic men's hockey team for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi on his own ability, and not because he is on the same line as Sidney Crosby.

"We went back to last season when Sid was out of the lineup", explained Yzerman. "He (Kunitz) played well. We like what he brings. We talked to the coaches about where all these guys are playing and how we're going to use them. Things could change. Chris could play one shift with Sidney and they (the coaching staff) could decide something else."

Yzerman also has high praise for Kunitz, who has 100 points over the last two years.

"We know this guy. He's been on championship teams. He plays hard. He goes to the net and around the net, and is one of the top players around the net, whether it's five-on-five, or on the power play. He's just gotten better and better in each year of his career. We like the tenacity that the brings. He's a great forechecker, regardless of who's he playing with. He's going to get in and turn pucks over, create turnovers and drive to the net, and do all those little things."

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