January 20, 2014

Sochi Report: No Canadian Captain Controversies

Congratulations to Sidney Crosby and Caroline Ouellette who were named as team captains of Team Canada's men and women's Olympic hockey teams.

There is no surprise in naming Crosby as captain, though Jonathan Toews would also have been an excellent choice. Toews and Shea Weber will serve as alternates.

Ouellette is a surprise in that she replaces Hayley Wickenheiser. Wickenheiser, generally considered to be the world's best female player, has served as captain since Cassie Campbell's retirement in 2006. But new coach Kevin Dineen replaced Wickenheiser with Ouellette earlier this season.

The 34 year old Ouellette said she was very surprised.

“I was very surprised,” Ouellette said Sunday in Calgary. “We didn’t know what was going to happen. Kevin came in recently. I think he wanted to see how the team was doing before he made his decision. I think we have a dozen players who are captains within their own teams. We have so many great leaders. I think it could have been many of us. I’m very honoured.

Wickenheiser will serve as a permanent alternate for Sochi, with Catherine Ward and Jayna Hefford rotating the "A" throughout the tournament. Wickenheiser, who will be participating in her 6th Olympics (5 hockey and 1 softball) is remaining very professional about the change.

“Obviously it’s disappointing not to be able to wear the ‘C’ but at the same time I think it gives our team a different dynamic and maybe something we need going into Sochi in order to get everybody going in the right direction,” Wickenheiser said.
“I guess I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. At the same time, sometimes you can lead from different areas. If it’s a better decision for the team and gives us a better chance to win a gold medal, then that’s what we have to do.”
Canada also announced their 2014 Paralympic roster for sledge hockey. Greg Westlake has been the captain since 2010-11 season. Adam Dixon and Brad Bowden will wear the As.

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