Over the course of the last few days rosters for the competing countries involved in the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Naturally, players from the NHL are invited to participate, after reaching an agreement allowing players to have an ‘Olympic Break’ from February 9-26. The first team to announce their invitees was Team Canada.
To no surprise, Patrice Bergeron made the cut along with fellow teammates Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand. Patrice Bergeron is no stranger when it comes to the Olympics, being a part of the gold medal team in 2010. He appeared in 7 games and registered a single assist. In addition to winning the gold in the last winter Olympics, Bergeron has also captured the gold in World Juniors, World Championship and the Spengler Cup.
Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand will be embarking on their first Olympic tryout for the first time of their careers. Lucic was invited to camp in 2010, but failed to make the final cut, whereas Marchand is embarking on his first invitation. Both forwards are coming off of great seasons, Marchand had team-high totals for the calendar 2013 season, while Lucic practically pushed the Bruins through the playoffs single-handed after struggling in the regular season. Newly signed Bruin Jarome Iginla did not make the invitation list, despite being a part of the 2010 Olympic gold medal team in 2010 along with Bergeron.
In addition to three of the teams’ best forwards trying out, the Bruins will also have team presence with Coach Claude Julien being named as part of the coaching staff for Team Canada as well as GM Peter Chiarelli being part of the management.
As Finland unveiled their roster, it should come as little surprise that Tuukka Rask got invited. Rask came off of a career-high season, leading his team to the Stanley Cup Finals and posting career-bests. He was among the top five goaltenders of the NHL all season long along with being a part of a Championship team (HC Plzen) which he played for during the lockout.
New to the Boston Bruins this season, after a blockbuster deal, Loui Eriksson will represent the black and gold for Team Sweden after being formally invited earlier this week. Eriksson, like Bergeron, participated in the 2010 Olympics and registered 3 goals and an assist in 4 games played before his team was eliminated. He’s coming off of a decent season where he recorded 12 goals and 17 assists.
While Slovakia and the Czech Republic have yet to release their rosters, it is assumed that Zdeno Chara and David Krejci will be invited to represent Boston.