He will forever be known as the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal on home snow, winning the men’s moguls competition at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
A native of Rosemère, Que., Alexandre Bilodeau first fell in love with freestyle skiing when he watched Jean-Luc Brassard compete at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Following in the footsteps of his idol, he became the top Canadian junior in freestyle at age 14.
At age 17, Bilodeau joined the national freestyle ski team, competing at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, finishing 11th. He won the World Cup moguls title in 2008-09, and took gold in dual moguls at the FIS world championship at the end of that season, a feat he repeated in 2011 and 2013. In all, Bilodeau has 12 World Cup victories to his credit, seven in moguls and five in dual moguls, and has his sights set on defending his Olympic gold in Sochi.
|WHY?: Crawford is one of the top goaltenders in the league right now, won a Stanley Cup, and Luongo has the experience, knows how to handle the pressure. But I think Price is the guy. I’m from Montreal, so I’m a big fan, and I’m hoping he’s going to get that No. 1 spot and show what he can do.
|WHY?: It’s a good mix of experience and new blood. Doughty is a little bit of both; young, but was there in Vancouver. Letang and Subban were finalists for (the Norris Trophy) last year, so they should both have spots even though they’re still learning. Phaneuf and Weber both bring experience and size, Seabrook is experienced and brings a lot to the table, and Green is an offensive guy. And then there’s Keith; there’s so many reasons he’ll be on the team.
|Martin St. Louis|
|WHY?: It’s easy for us in Canada to list off players, but it gets tough when you actually have to name a roster. Stamkos is an easy choice; he’s a clutch player, a scorer. For centres, there’s Crosby, Staal, Getzlaf, Toews and Tavares; you can move them from line to line, they can play with anyone. Hall, Giroux, Kunitz, Ladd, Perry and Nash – those guys have experience in high-pressure situations, and are among the best in the NHL. Eberle is a super-talented young guy who I think would benefit from playing with the veterans, and then there’s Martin St. Louis; he’s a guy with Olympic experience who wasn’t there in Vancouver, but you can see he wants to be a part of Sochi and show he’s one of the best.
PHOTO CREDIT: Martin Girard