The Bruins organization has had a fine tradition of donating its players for Olympic competition. Since Nagano, Japan the Black and Gold have represented teams all across the world. That tradition continues again this year. Sadly though, there will be no Bruins representing the United States this time around. Personally, I was hoping that Torey Krug‘s college and NHL experience would have gotten him the nod, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
The Bruins will be sending three players to team Canada. We all knew Patrice Bergeron was going. He was the only player picked for the team in 2010 that didn’t attend the camp, and Team Canada won the gold medal in Vancouver. Milan Lucic will be going as well, and it will be great to see his size and power on the ice. (Just a pity he’ll be smacking American players around on the ice.) Brad Marchand was a bit of a surprise comparing him to all of Canada’s talent, but I’m glad to see him there as well. I have to wonder if Rosetta Stone sells an “international chirping” package? Marchand was our high scorer, and he’ll be a great bottom six forward for Team Canada.
Claude Julien was selected as one of the assistant coaches under Mike Babcock for Team Canada. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was given an advisory role with Team Canada in the management group. The other Olympic teams should be careful. With Chiarelli’s ability to wheel and deal, several European players might wake up with Canadian passports.
Several European squads will be benefitting from the depth of the Bruins skill and expertise. Team Finland announced its camp roster yesterday as well, and it should come to no surprise that Tuukka Rask‘s name was at the top of the list for goalies selected to attend. While Tuukka’s run for the Stanley Cup was impressive, it may not guarantee him the starting position. Several other Finnish goalies have credentials that are just as impressive.
Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, was the backup to Miikka Kiprusoff on the 2010 team. Both 2010 goalies are on the list. A few Vezina finalists are on there as well. Among them are Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks, and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators. Kari Lehtonen of the Dallas Stars rounds out the list. I’m sure Tuukka will make the team though. He’s just too good not to.
Team Sweden has asked recent Bruins acquisition Loui Eriksson to join their team. Eriksson was a member of the 2010 Olympic team as well, and will very likely make the team. It’s just really odd seeing Eriksson skating with the Sedin brothers. It’s a pity that Carl Soderberg got a pass though. My guess is that Soderberg’s desire to play for the NHL over competing in the Worlds got him blacklisted (at least for the initial selection).
While the Czech Republic and the Slovakian teams have yet to release their rosters, it’s a given that each team will have one Boston Bruin on them. The Czech Republic will have access to the scoring machine that is David Krejci. #46 for the Bruins is one of those all-around players that will make them a very formidable team to play against. The Slovaks will of course have the Bruins captain, Zdeno Chara on their squad. The 6’9″ blueliner will make life interesting for any team that attempts to take them out of medal contention.
I would have also liked to include the Bruins resident German, Dennis Seidenberg. Sadly, team Germany was eliminated in the qualifying matches and didn’t earn a chance to play at the Olympic level.
I’ll be thrilled for any member of the Black and Gold that gets to bring home a medal for their country. In a way, the Bruins and the NHL are what the Olympics represent (million dollar contracts aside). People from around the world coming together and playing the sport they love, for the fans that admire them.