Chris Kelly, who helped the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011, was one of 25 players named to the Canada men’s hockey team for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics on Thursday.
Also named to the team were 23 former NHL players, three of whom are playing in the American Hockey League: Kelly with Belleveille, the Ottawa Senators’ affiliate; defenseman Cody Goloubef with Stockton, the Calgary Flames’ affiliate, and forward Christian Thomas with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ affiliate.
“It was extremely difficult in some ways, but at the end of the day, I think like all teams, the players make the decisions by the way they play,” Olympic team general manager Sean Burke said. “We had a lot of players play extremely well for us this year. We used them in multiple events. As difficult as it was, it became obvious that certain players came to the forefront by the way they played and their commitment and determination to make this team.”
Willie Desjardins, who coached the Vancouver Canucks for three seasons (2014-17) will be Canada’s coach.
Canada won the gold medal at the previous two Olympics, in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.
“The goal is always gold,” Burke said. “I think when you put on a Canadian jersey in any tournament internationally everybody gives you their best game. You know it’s extremely difficult. The goal never changes, but realistically our goal right now is a gold medal performance as far as the effort goes. We’ll get that. Once you get that, then you really have to let the other things fall into place.”
Kelly, 37, played 13 NHL seasons with the Bruins and Ottawa Senators. He was acquired in a trade by the Bruins from the Senators on Feb. 15, 2011, and had five points (two goals, three assists) in 24 regular-season games and 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 25 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He had 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 82 games with the Senators last season.
This season he’s played 10 games with Belleville.
The Winter Olympics will take place Feb. 9-25. The hockey tournament starts Feb. 14.
CANADA OLYMPIC ROSTER
GOALTENDERS: Justin Peters, Kevin Poulin, Ben Scrivens
DEFENSEMEN: Stefan Elliott, Chay Genoway, Cody Goloubef, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Chris Lee, Maxim Noreau, Mat Robinson, Karl Stollery
FORWARDS: Rene Bourque, Gilbert Brule, Andrew Ebbett, Quinton Howden, Chris Kelly, Rob Klinkhammer, Brandon Kozun, Maxim Lapierre, Eric O’Dell, Mason Raymond, Derek Roy, Christian Thomas, Linden Vey, Wojtek Wolski