Imagine you are the general manager of your country’s Olympic hockey team. You’ve been granted a time machine that allows you to go back to prior Olympics and bring players back to play for your team. Who would you choose to construct the ultimate team from your country? 

Here are the basic ground rules: 
-You can only choose players that have competed in the Olympics for the particular country. 
-No junior championships, no world championships, only the Olympics. 
-You must select the specific Olympic year of that player (e.g. 1998 Dominik Hasek) and once a version of the player has been selected, that player cannot be reused (ex: you can’t take 1998 and 2002 Steve Yzerman). 
-Players can be from prior to the inclusion of NHL players in the Olympics (e.g. 1980 Jim Craig). 

You are tasked with putting together the best team possible. Select 12 forwards, 6 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders. Your line combinations matter and your defensive pairings matter. Everything matters in your quest for the Ultimate Olympic Gold Medal.

It’s no secret that Canadians like hockey and that Canadians make up a large part of the NHL. Just over 50% of the players playing in the NHL this season are Canadian and it is widely considered Canada’s game.

Which means it’s no secret that Canada has a very deep pool of star players who have donned the maple leaf at the Olympics. So when our stats guy Prashanth Iyer, asked me to create the best lineup possible of Canadian Olympians, I knew it would be a chore. Luckily, Wikipedia has a list of every player to ever play for Canada which was a very helpful start. According to the list, 297 skaters and 36 goalies have been named to the team in 20 tournaments. The lineup below is the best of those players, but before you see it, I have to lay out my rules for choosing the players.

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