"It is amazing to see the guys that have the raw talent and ability commit themselves to doing all the little things right," said Toews. "We knew that's what it was going to take in this tournament to win the championship. And guys were willing to do that. So I would say it's a great team to be a part of and unlike any other team I've really been a part of."
And here's the crazy part. Team Canada is better than ever and is not going away anytime soon. Not with Crosby, Toews, Price, Weber, Doughty, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Getzlaf, Benn, Corey Perry, Alex Pietrangelo, Carter and Matt Duchene still in their 20s. Throw in a healthy Steven Stamkos, sprinkle the odd Claude Giroux or James Neal in there and wait on Nate MacKinnon and Connor McDavid ... you get the picture. These guys aren't going anywhere. This is the golden generation of Canadian players.
Canada will be the team to beat in South Korea if the NHL decides to participate again. But selecting Team Canada will be a job for someone else. Following his news conference Sunday, I approached Yzerman and asked him if he would take another whirl at it for 2018. The answer was no. It's time to let someone else take a crack at it, Yzerman said.
The stress of this particular assignment was obvious, the Tampa Bay Lightning GM having to deal with not originally naming Lightning captain Martin St. Louis to Team Canada only to put him on when Stamkos had to pull out with an injury. It put a heavy strain on Yzerman, who has always put his country first, made the most difficult decisions and goes out in style with two Olympic gold medals in two tries.
How can you beat that? You don't.
And nobody was going to beat Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics.