Eric Staal has not had the best of NHL seasons.
But it did not cost him a spot on Canada's Olympic team.
The Carolina Hurricanes center, slowed by injuries and inconsistency throughout the year, has a body of work — individual and team successes plus clutch performances — that made him a part of the discussion for the Vancouver Olympics since the debate began.
While his play down the stretch and in the postseason last year made him likely part of Canada's plans, his struggles with an upper body ailment and the Hurricanes' poor play cast doubt on his chances.
In the end, Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman decided Staal's body of work was enough to warrant a spot.
Carolina goalie Cam Ward, who was considered a candidate for the third spot in net for Canada following his play last season, did not make the team.
Canada's roster is full of surprises. None of Calgary's big three defensemen (Jay Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf or Robyn Regehr) made the team. Patrice Bergeron, Brendan Morrow, Mike Richards and Staal — all considered on the bubble — made the forward corps. Here's the total roster:
Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby (alternate captain), Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla (alternate captain), Patrick Marleau, Brenden Morrow, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Eric Staal, Joe Thornton and Jonathan Toews.
UPDATE: Here's Eric's take on making the team: Audio