Former Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens, who has been playing in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, was among the 25 players nominated Thursday to play for Canada’s men’s Olympic hockey team at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
Since the NHL refused to release its players to represent their homelands in the tournament, participating teams have had to find players who have not been playing in the NHL. Like the U.S., which released its roster on Jan. 1, Canada has drawn heavily on players who are playing for KHL teams.
Thirteen players on KHL teams were chosen, along with players in Sweden and other European leagues. A few players in American Hockey League, one-way contracts also made the roster, notably Christian Thomas and former Ottawa Senators forward Chris Kelly. Former King Linden Vey, who’s playing in the KHL, also made the team. Unlike the U.S. which chose several college players, Canada did not choose anyone from the NCAA ranks.
The NHL built a break into its schedule to allow players to participate in the 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 Olympics. However, the league declined to halt play for the Pyeongchang Games, citing insurance and travel costs as well as the fact that it doesn’t directly benefit financially from the Games. Canada won the gold medal at the 2010 and 2014 men’s Olympic tournaments