The Czech Republic announced their Olympic roster today and there were no shortage of surprises! The show stopper was their selection of 42 year old former Canuck Petr Nedved, who is currently playing in the Czech league. After seeing that, I immediately searched the rest of the roster for Frank Kucera, Roman Cechmanek and Robert Kron. Luckily for Czech fans, they were nowhere to be found.
There must be some sort of political agenda at play for Nedved, who wasn’t good enough to play in the NHL five years ago, to be named to the team ahead of the likes of Jiri Hudler, Radim Vrbata, Tomas Fleischmann and Martin Erat (our own Tyler Wilde predicted Vrbata on the Czechs first line, and was right to do so). On the back-end, Rostislav Klesla appears to be overlooked in favour of Lukas Krajicek! It reminds me of the US junior team picking a lot of players playing for US colleges ahead of better players playing for junior teams in Canada. That didn’t work out well for the Americans that year, and this likely isn’t a smart move for the Czechs either.
Imagine how many Team Canada rosters we could make before any sane person would pick Petr Nedved (who is a former Canadian Olympian). Probably 20-30 teams.
Here’s how the Czech lines could look:
Patrik Elias – David Krejci – Jaromir Jagr
Milan Michalek – Tomas Plekanec – Jakub Voracek
Ales Hemsky – Martin Hanzal – Vladimir Sobotka
Michael Frolik – Roman Cervenka – Jiri Novotny
Zbynek Michalek – Marek Zidlicky
Ladislav Smid – Tomas Kaberle
Michal Rozsival – Radko Gudas