Making the most of the Canadian Olympic hockey team’s pre-Sochi orientation session in Calgary last month was something of a challenge. The cost of insuring players during on-ice sessions would have been so prohibitive that team executives were forced to keep players off the ice, which meant they had to become especially creative to keep players' attention.
Team Canada Coach Mike Babcock came up with the idea of having players play a version of ball hockey, and he had them do walk-throughs that incorporated some of the ideas he hopes to use next February at the Sochi Winter Games. It seemed an odd strategy, but it apparently worked, because the work they did during the two-day gathering has stayed in the mind of Ducks right wing Corey Perry.
“That was interesting,” said Perry, who was joined by Ducks teammate Ryan Getzlaf on Canada’s preliminary Olympic roster.
“It was good. To go through the systems, go through the power play, the different options, just to walk through it, you know you have it. It’s in the back of your head, you can think about it, and when the time comes it’s not new to you.
“I think it was a good idea. You just see everybody having fun with it. It was a good time.”
Including Perry and Getzlaf, 11 Ducks have been identified as potential Olympians for five countries. The others are Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne and Sami Vatanen for Finland; Cam Fowler, Kyle Palmieri, and John Gibson for the U.S.; Viktor Fasth for Sweden, and Jonas Hiller and Luca Sbisa for Switzerland.
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