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Eric Staal Joins "Triple Gold Club" as Team Canada Beats USA For Gold

It was a hockey game for the ages.  Team Canada jumped out in front.  Team USA battled back to tie the game and send it into overtime.  Then the "Crowned Prince" of Canadian hockey, Sidney Crosby ended the game when he beat Ryan Miller about half way through the overtime period.

Stephen Harper couldn't have written a better script.

The home crowd went home happy and Canadians get to have four more years of bragging rights about how they deserve accolades because the game of hockey belongs to them.  Oh well, at least the men's team had a bit more class than the ladies did as they saved their champagne sipping and cigar smoking for the dressing room.

The Hurricanes who participated in the Olympics fared very well.  Eric Staal won gold.  Tim Gleason won silver.  And Tuomo Ruutu and Joni Pitkanen brought home the bronze.  Each of them performed very well in their own right.

But Staal one-upped his teammates as the Hurricanes Captain earned yet another special honor in his relatively short career.  He is now the 23rd player in history to join the exclusive "Triple Gold Club", a distinction players achieve after winning championships in the three most important tournaments in hockey: the Olympics, The World Championships, and the Stanley Cup.

Staal joins elite company with this latest achievement.  Other familiar names on the list include Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Henrik Zetterberg, Jaromir Jagr, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Chris Pronger.

Now that the Olympics is over, it's time to get back to NHL news.  The trade freeze will be lifted at midnight tonight and trade rumors are flying already.  (Aaron Ward to Ottawa?)  We will be following everything as closely as possible here at Canes Country.

Congratulations to Team Canada for winning the title.  Also, congratulations to Team USA for surpassing all expectations and for almost winning it all.  The silver medal won't seem too bad after taking some time to heal, regardless of this tough loss. 

Finally, congratulations to Team Finland for taking the bronze.  It is never easy to win a medal and all three teams deserve the honor.