Yesterday we looked at Team Canada’s roster, but there were also a few other countries that announced their rosters for the 2010 Olympics that flew under the radar. Lets take a look:
This will be the last go-around for the old guard for Team Finland. Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Jere Lehtinen and Kimmo Timonen are likely in their last Olympic Games. The foursome has been a part of every Olympic Games since the NHL began participating in 1998. Finland has shown itself to be a strong international team at the senior level, often surpassing pre-competition expectations. They beat Canada to win bronze in 1998, lost by only a goal to eventual gold medal winners Canada in the quarterfinals in 2002 and won silver in 2006. While the 2010 team is aging a little bit, it will be the first time that Finland can boast all star caliber goaltending in an Olympic Games (Miikka Kiprusoff chose to skip the Olympics in 2006).
Miikka Kiprusoff (Calgary Flames, NHL), Niklas Bäckström (Minnesota Wild, NHL), Antero Niittymäki (Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL)
Kimmo Timonen (Philadelphia Flyers, NHL), Sami Salo (Vancouver Canucks, NHL), Joni Pitkänen (Carolina Hurricanes, NHL), Lasse Kukkonen (Avangard Omsk, RUS), Toni Lydman (Buffalo Sabres, NHL), Sami Lepistö (Phoenix Coyotes, NHL), Janne Niskala (Frölunda, SWE)
Mikko Koivu (Minnesota Wild, NHL), Tuomo Ruutu (Carolina Hurricanes, NHL), Valtteri Filppula (Detroit Red Wings, NHL), Teemu Selänne (Anaheim Ducks, NHL), Saku Koivu (Anaheim Ducks, NHL), Jere Lehtinen (Dallas Stars, NHL), Niklas Hagman (Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL), Olli Jokinen (Calgary Flames, NHL), Antti Miettinen (Minnesota Wild, NHL), Jarkko Ruutu (Ottawa Senators, NHL), Niko Kapanen (Ak Bars Kazan, RUS), Ville Peltonen (Dynamo Minsk, BLR), Jarkko Immonen (Ak Bars Kazan, RUS)
If the Czech Republic is to win gold (as they did in 2010) it will likely be due to the strong play of their skilled forwards and Tomas Vokoun. This will be the last Olympics for Jaromir Jagr, who will be still counted on heavily, along with the likes of Patrik Elias, Martin Havlat and Tomas Plekanec. The biggest question mark for the Czechs is on defense, where Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Marek Zidlicky and Filip Kuba will have the chore of trying to stop the world’s best snipers.
Tomas Vokoun (Florida Panthers/NHL), Ondrej Pavelec (Atlanta Thrashers/NHL), Jakub Stepanek (Vitkovice/CZE).
Miroslav Blatak (Salavat Yulaev Ufa/RUS), Jan Hejda (Columbus Blue Jackets/NHL), Tomas Kaberle (Toronto Maple Leafs/NHL), Filip Kuba (Ottawa Senators/NHL), Pavel Kubina (Atlanta Thrashers/NHL), Zbynek Michalek (Phoenix Coyotes/NHL), Roman Polak (St Louis Blues/NHL), Marek Zidlicky (Minnesota Wild/NHL).
Petr Cajanek (Saint-Pétersbourg/RUS), Roman Cervenka (Slavia Prague/CZE), Patrik Elias (New Jersey Devils/NHL), Martin Erat (Nashville Predators/NHL), Tomas Fleischmann (Washington Capitals/NHL), Martin Havlat (Minnesota Wild/NHL), Jaromir Jagr (Avangard Omsk/NHL), David Krejci (Boston Bruins/NHL), Milan Michalek (Ottawa Senators/NHL), Tomas Plekanec (Canadiens de Montréal/NHL), Tomas Rolinek (Magnitogorsk/RUS), Josef Vasicek (Yaroslavl/RUS)
Team Germany isn’t getting a lot of respect, and for good reason. They have never able to provide a serious threat to challenge for a medal and their team is sub-par on paper. Their team, starved for NHL players actually chose NOT to name Christoph Schubert or Jochen Hecht to the team. Not sure of the reasoning behind that, but it sounds foolish to me. While Germany has a few good NHLers on the team with the likes of Christian Ehrhoff and Marco Sturm, they no longer have former Vezina trophy winner Olaf Kolzig to rely on, which should spell trouble.
Switzerland surprised many in 2006 by beating both Canada and the Czech Republic in the preliminary round behind the great goaltending of Martin Gerber. Jonas Hiller will probably carry the bulk of the load this time around, and is joined by Mark Streit as the only two NHLers on the team.