Crosby, MacKinnon and Marchand were sure locks for Canada’s Olympic Men’s Hockey Team.
Obviously, that all changed earlier this week when the NHL and NHLPA announced it’s players weren’t going to be attending the Beijing Olympic’s due to COVID-19.
Hockey Canada’s decision to pull its team from the Spengler Cup indicates their intentions on potentially naming that group as its new Olympic team.
As they say in the hockey world, with adversity comes opportunity.
Three proud Islanders are currently in the front running to potentially land on a spot and represent their country in Beijing.
Brandon Gormley, Josh Currie and Morgan Ellis recently participated in the Channel One Cup for Canada losing in the final. They all have a legitimate shot at wearing the Maple Leaf.
Gormley, a former first round NHL draft pick is having a solid campaign in the KHL and was just traded from Riga Dynamo to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Gormley has more international experience than Ellis and Currie highlighted by a World Junior appearance in 2011-2012.
Currie is coming off several solid years in the American Hockey League, and appeared in 22 NHL games over that span while Ellis has split his time between the KHL and the DEL the last four seasons.
All three have extensive time in the AHL, and have played professionally for over a decade.
It remains to be seen what direction Hockey Canada will take given all the uncertainty surrounding the games and the current surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the new Omicron variant.
It’s possible that Hockey Canada could in fact fill their roster with a vast array of its World Junior team roster, but that’s highly unlikely to happen.
The entire hockey world especially Canadians were banking on the NHL’s participation. Nevertheless, the NHL’s decision opens a door for many professionals playing abroad that would never get an opportunity like this.
Gormley, Currie and Ellis have grinded out very successful careers.
They definitely deserve consideration to land a spot on the team. Riverview, New Brunswick’s Jordan Murray could also be a long shot as well.
Murray is having a great year so far in his first season in the DEL.
The passion for the game of hockey runs deep in the Maritimes. The game has an unique way of connecting us all. Maritime grit, determination and character continues to leave a lasting legacy across the hockey world.
This region has a storied history when it comes to Olympic participation. Brandon Gormley, Josh Currie and Morgan Ellis could be the next in line.
With adversity comes opportunity, and adversity is no stranger to this trio of Islanders, if anything the adversity they have faced throughout their journey continues to fuels their passion for the game.