Ryan Getzlaf confirmed to play for team Canada
Bob McKenzie has confirmed on his twitter account that Ryan Getzlaf will indeed play for Team Canada at the Olympic Tournament, which gets underway tomorrow evening as Canada faces off against Norway.
According to McKenzie, Jeff Carter was informed that his services would not be needed for the team. Carter had been speculated to be the proverbial ''14th forward'' for team Canada since the roster was announced in December. That speculation was confirmed last week, when it was announced that Jeff Carter would fly to Vancouver just in case Getzlaf wasn't able to go.
In the end, Getzlaf will play through his sprained angle in order to compete for Canada, amidst speculation that the injury was worse than what the Anaheim Ducks, Getlaf, and Hockey Canada were letting on (CBC had about a 10 minute discussion on the difference between a light ankle sprain and a high ankle sprain on Saturday's Satellite Hotstove). Getzlaf returned to action in style last night, providing the Ducks with 2 goals (including the eventual game winner) and 2 assists in their 7-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
The 6'4'', 220lbs Getzlaf provides Canada with a distinct advantage amongst its centers, adding major size down the middle to counter some of the explosive forwards on the other teams, in particular, Alexander Ovechkin and team Russia. Getzlaf also brings a right-handed shot to the table, something that's hard to find in the league in general, yet along elite Canadian forwards.
Through 56 games this season, Getzlaf has accumulated 61 points, including 17 goals an 44 assists, coming off 91 and 82 point seasons in his last two years. Moreover, he's a Stanley Cup winner with the Ducks, a silver medalist at the World Championships of 2008, a gold medalist at the 2005 World Juniors, a silver medalist the year before, and a gold medalist at the under-18s in 2003.
Getzlaf is expected to play alongside Ducks teammate Corey Perry and Columbus's Rick Nash on Canada power-forward line.
Stay tuned to TCL for all the breaking news from the Vancouver Olympics.