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Team Canada 2025 projection: Nick Suzuki as an extra player
Exactly one week ago, my colleague Marc-Olivier Cook spoke to you about the possibility of the NHL returning to the international stage as early as 2025.

And at the 2026 Winter Olympics, the NHL could participate… for the first time in 12 years. The last time was in 2014, in Sochi.

Obviously, on the international scene, Canada, with a full roster, is king of the world. Whether at the Junior World Championships, the Olympic Games or World Cups, the Canadian team is always at the top of the podium.

It was a different story at the last two Winter Olympics, but Canada didn’t have its best squad.

But if the NHL’s plans materialize, Canada will have a complete, extremely powerful team for 2025 and 2026. Sportsnet took the opportunity to put together a potential line-up for the team.

It’s worth noting that Nick Suzuki is the only Habs player who will be representing our nation. But according to Sportsnet, he won’t be in the starting line-up. In fact, he’ll be an extra, along with two Panthers players: Brandon Montour and Carter Verhaeghe.

Of course, the Connor McDavids, Sidney Crosbys and Brad Marchands of this world deserve their place in the club, but the Canadiens’ captain has a case for taking the place of certain players. I’m not saying that the CH captain is necessarily better than Zach Hyman and Dylan Cozens, but…

And again, without being biased, I think Samuel Montembeault would do a better job than Stuart Skinner, who is projected as the team’s number-one goalie. Darcy Kuemper and Devon Levi, who are goalkeepers two and three, aren’t that much better than Monty

Obviously, we shouldn’t take this projection for cash, but it gives us a pretty good idea of the potential Canadian line-up. Don’t forget that by 2025 and 2026, guys like Crosby, Marchand and Stamkos will have aged and may not be as dominant as they are right now.

As for other CH players who could represent their countries, there’s Cole Caufield (USA), Juraj Slafkovsky (Slovakia) and Joel Armia (Finland). We could even add Jesse Ylonen’s name (as a replacement). We know the Finnish GM likes him.

In gusto

– Donald Audette encourages Anthony Mantha. [TSLH]

– One to watch.

– He was not claimed in the balloting.

– Tampa’s first relatively long summer in a long time.

– Big win.

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