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2026 Olympics: Canada could be fairly well represented
Earlier today, Bill Daly made field hockey fans happy.

The NHL’s deputy commissioner confided that the league is currently evaluating the possibility of creating a kind of World Cup in February 2025

And that could help with the presence of league players at the next Winter Olympics, to be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, in 2026.

Good news, you might say? Let me correct you by saying that it’s excellent news.

2026 is a long way off… But by then, the Canadiens will have completed their rebuilding. The organization’s young players will have reached maturity… And since the Olympics are three years away, we can already start thinking about a few CH candidates who could represent their respective countries in Italy.

I had already mentioned the possibility of Samuel Montembeault defending Canada’s colors, because the Quebecer is currently making good progress. His good 22-23 season combined with his domination at the last World Championship means he’s heading in the right direction…

And Canada doesn’t necessarily have many dominant goalkeepers in the National League, which could help Monty carve out a place for himself in the Canadian line-up :

But it’s not just Montembeault who could represent the CH at the next Olympics.

I think we can really question whether in three years, Nick Suzuki will deserve his place on Team Canada ‘s roster. He may not yet be one of Canada’s elite players, but his progression curve suggests that he could have a chance to take part in the event…

As for Cole Caufield, I think I can say out loud without getting tomatoes thrown at me that he should technically be a lock for the American team. The U.S. has a lot of good players…

But Caufield is an outstanding goal scorer, and these players are usually popular at international level.

Juraj Slafkovsky should, barring a major surprise, represent Slovakia… And Filip Mesar could join him if he shows he’s ready to face the music by then.

Could a guy like Mike Matheson surprise us by making the Canadian team? I don’t think we should rule that out too quickly.

The Quebecer was one of the National League’s best defensemen in 22-23 in terms of offensive production, and if he puts together a string of good seasons between now and the Canadian team selection, maybe he’ll get a chance.

Otherwise, there are the cases of David Reinbacher, Kaiden Guhle, Lane Hutson and Kirby Dach. If it’s all but confirmed for Reinbacher, given that Austria is far from being a powerhouse and given that his country will need him…

It’s a different story for Guhle, Dach and Hutson, because they’re Canadian and American. It’s a bit early to say anything because at the moment, we don’t really know what the youngsters will look like in three years’ time in terms of their progression…

But if they develop in the right way and continue to do things the way they’re doing now, they’ll have a chance.

Basically, you have to understand that the next Olympic Games are still a long way off, and that anything can happen between now and then. But we can also understand that the CH could be well represented in Italy.

In gusto

– Kirby Dach showed his personality during an appearance on the Empty Netters Podcast. He talked about Martin St-Louis’ impact on his development and the excellent climate in the CH dressing room.

Auston Matthews’ new contract consists almost entirely of signing bonuses.

– Madison Bowey is reportedly heading to the KHL.

– Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia, Christian Dvorak and Josh Anderson continue to have bad reputations.

– A really good first impression.

– What a pass from Lionel Messi.

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