2010 Winter Olympics: Flames Hopefuls

We take a break from your daily dose of bitching, moaning and hyper analysis to focus on the up-coming Olympics and, much more importantly, which Flames may be making their way to Vancouver in February.

SBN has a network-wide thing going, so here's the pre-determined categories we'll be wedging the hopefuls into:

"Pack Your Bags"
"Nearly A Lock"
"Fairly Safe Bet"
"In A Battle"
"Work To Do"
"Moving Up"
"Moving Down"

Team Canada:

Jay Bouwmeester - "Pack your bags"


Jay Bouwmeester

#4 / Defenseman / Calgary Flames

6-4

212

Sep 27, 1983



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Jay Bouwmeester 22 2 10 12 8 16 1 0 0 0 42 4.8


There are lots of great defenders to choose from for Team Canada, but it's hard to argue against Jay Bouwmeester's inclusion: not only is he capable at both ends of the ice, he's regularly been a league leader in terms of ice time for the last several seasons. He's frequently played against the best in the business during his career and only recently turned 26 years old.

Robyn Regehr - "In a Battle"


Robyn Regehr

#28 / Defenseman / Calgary Flames

6-3

225

Apr 19, 1980



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Robyn Regehr 22 0 9 9 2 19 0 0 0 0 24 0.0


One of the steadiest pure defensemen in the league, Regehr's chances of making the Olympic squad are nonetheless hampered by his below average offensive abilities. Big, mean and capable shutting down the best players in the league, Regehr make sneak onto the squad depending on how the roster shakes out.

Dion Phaneuf - "Moving Down"


Dion Phaneuf

#3 / Defenseman / Calgary Flames

6-3

214

Apr 10, 1985



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Dion Phaneuf 22 6 5 11 2 20 2 0 2 0 48 12.5

At this time last year, most would have figured Dion as a lock to make the club. However, after struggling mightily with his defensive game last season, Phaneuf is in tough to crack what will probably the best blueline (on paper) in this year's Olympics. And while his game looks "steadier" in the early going, Phaneuf hasn't made a compelling case thus far with fairly middling stats across the board.

Jarome Iginla - "Pack Your Bags"


Jarome Iginla

#12 / Right Wing / Calgary Flames

6-1

207

Jul 01, 1977



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Jarome Iginla 22 16 7 23 1 28 4 0 3 0 67 23.9

Iginla is not only a sure thing to make team Canada, but most expect him to be it's captain. Recently named as one of the best players of the last decade by Puck Daddy, Jarome's 12 goal month has re-solidified his claim to a place on the club. As such, Vancouverites will get to the experience the unfamiliar feeling of cheering for an effectual captain for once this winter.

Team Finland:

Olli Jokinen - "Pack Your Bags"


Olli Jokinen

#21 / Center / Calgary Flames

6-3

215

Dec 05, 1978



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Olli Jokinen 22 3 12 15 0 21 1 0 0 0 58 5.2

It's been a steady downward slide for Jokinen since he scored 39 goals in 2006-07. He's also had a fairly miserable run so far this season. That said, the Fins are a smaller country and don't have as many bodies to choose from. He hasn't been completely terrible for the Flames in the last week or so, meaning his play is likely to ramp up as the season progresses.

Miikka Kiprusoff - "Pack Your Bags"


Miikka Kiprusoff

#34 / Goalie / Calgary Flames

6-1

184

Oct 26, 1976



GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Miikka Kiprusoff 20 1192 12 5 51 2.57 599 548 .915 1

There would have been more debate around this selection had Kipper continued his descent into mediocrity. However, a strong start to the season has likely eased doubts about his abilities and propelled him past his struggling friend and countryman Vesa Toskala. Antero Niittymaki is knocking it out of the park currently, but is less proven and likely tabbed as a back-up. Niklas Backstrom may also challenge for a spot, but Kipper's superior resume and 2009-10 stats will put him ahead of the Wild's backstopper. 

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