Four Canadian television networks will provide live coverage of the announcement of Canada's Olympic hockey team Wednesday, and they'll be joined by the FAN radio network and live streaming on Web sites. The nationally circulated Globe and Mail newspaper plans to publish a 16-page supplement analyzing the roster on Thursday.
You think Canada is excited about the Vancouver Games?
It is, and with good reason. Not only does the host country want to win at the game it claims to have invented, this could be the last Olympics to include NHL players.
The U.S. roster will be announced Friday during NBC's telecast of the Winter Classic at Boston's Fenway Park, ending a series of announcements that began last week. Latvia, Norway and Slovakia will announce their rosters Tuesday and the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Switzerland will name their teams Friday.
Here's a look at what to expect from Canada and the United States:
Goaltenders: Easy. Martin Brodeur of New Jersey, who is the NHL's all-time leader in shutouts, Vancouver's acrobatic Roberto Luongo and Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury.
Defense: With only one practice before the tournament, familiarity from previous NHL or world teams is an asset. Look for the Anaheim Ducks' Scott Niedermayer to be paired with former teammate Chris Pronger, now with Philadelphia. Nashville's multidimensional Shea Weber fits well. San Jose's Dan Boyle will be there. Chicago's Duncan Keith should get a spot, though defense partner Brent Seabrook might not. Calgary could send Jay Bouwmeester and Robyn Regehr.
The Kings' Drew Doughty, who just turned 20, would be a great pick for his vision and scoring potential. But Canada has snubbed precocious youngsters before: The 2006 Turin, Italy, team ignored Sidney Crosby and finished out of the medals.
Forwards: Start with Crosby, San Jose's Joe Thornton, the Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf and defensive stalwart Mike Fisher of Ottawa at center. Throw in Columbus' Rick Nash, Calgary's Jarome Iginla and the Ducks' Corey Perry on the wings, with Dallas' Brenden Morrow for grit, San Jose's Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley to play alongside Thornton, and Chicago's Jonathan Toews for his all-around game. Add Carolina's Eric Staal for two-way play and Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis for speed on the left side and it's a potent mix.
Goaltenders: Buffalo's Ryan Miller has this sewn up with a 1.98 goals-against average and league-leading .935 save percentage. Boston's Tim Thomas is the likely No. 2 despite a falloff from his Vezina performance last season. The Los Angeles Kings' Jonathan Quick deserves the third spot; he's Team USA's goalie of the future.
Defense: Brian Rafalski of Detroit is a winner. New Jersey's Paul Martin might be out because of a slow-healing broken arm; his spot could go to teammate Andy Greene. Nashville's Ryan Suter has perked up lately and he has been a key member of U.S. junior and world teams. The Blues' Erik Johnson and the Kings' Jack Johnson have more dimensions than the Ducks' Ryan Whitney, who was considered. Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik would bring a needed physical presence. The Ducks' James Wisniewski deserves a spot but likely will lose out to someone like Toronto's Mike Komisarek.
Forwards: The strongest candidates are Chicago's Patrick Kane (the highest-scoring American in the NHL with 42 points), New Jersey's Zach Parise, playmaker Paul Stastny of Colorado, defense-minded Ryan Kesler of Vancouver, Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone, who is on pace for a 40-goal season, Kings captain Dustin Brown for muscle and havoc in front of the net, the Ducks' Bobby Ryan for his scoring instincts, Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner for his leadership, San Jose's Joe Pavelski for his smarts and two-way play, and Toronto's Phil Kessel for his finishing skills.
The last spots could go to the Rangers' Chris Drury despite his struggles, Scott Gomez of Montreal for his international experience, the Blues' David Backes, though his nine-goal output is dramatically down from last season's 31, and maybe Pittsburgh's Bill Guerin or Dallas' Mike Modano as a token veteran.
Let the games -- and Games -- begin.