The 2014 Winter Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi, Russia, is now roughly 18 months away, but preparation for the event is well underway.
Realistically, there are seven teams with legitimate shots at earning a medal, but no nation will face a greater challenge in selecting a roster than Team Canada. There are at least 60 to 70 players who will earn consideration for one of the 23 spots on the squad.
As the team's executive director and general manager for the second consecutive games, Steve Yzerman will undoubtedly take the heat for the choices he makes unless his group can take home another gold medal. But he knew that when he agreed to remain in the position for another four years.
Though there's a full NHL season to be played before Hockey Canada holds its pre-tournament evaluation camp, there are clearly some players who already have all but locked up spots on the team.
Here's an early look at what the 2014 Olympic team will look like.