Onto something I don’t do very often, in writing previews of the hockey tournament (mens) for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, there are bound to be a few countries that not too many of us North Americans know too much about that.
We know Canada, we know the USA, we know Finland, Sweden and of course Russia, but of the countries we probably don’t hear about often, here is one of them:
There are of course a bunch of guys that we do know who call Slovakia home. Here are a handful of the crème of the crop.
Today (Jan. 7) , with the deadline upon them, Slovakia has released their 2014 Olympic Men’s Hockey Roster.
The veterans will be leading the way this year as Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara will serve as captain for the team. He will be joined by players like Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks and Marian Gaborik of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Chara is the second highest scoring defenseman on the Bruins. Honestly, with a slapshot that tops 100 mph, I can understand why. He has nine goals and nine assists so far this season for a total of 18 points along with his plus-3 rating.
Hossa is running strong for the defending Stanley Cup Champions. So far this season, he has 15 goals and 20 assists for a total of 35 points to go along with his spectacular plus-22 rating.
Here is a look at the complete roster for the Slovakia Men’s hockey team.
As with the rest of the teams, I will try and start off with the goaltending.
Goaltenders Current Team
Peter Budaj Montreal Canadiens(NHL)
Jaroslav Halak St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Jan Laco Donetsk (KHL)
Peter Budaj would likely be the team’s starter, backed up by Halak and Jan Laco is here likely to pick up as much as he can with little or no pressure on him. A positive experience for him could result in better positioning next time out.
Defensemen Current Team
Ivan Baranka Avangard Omsk (RUS)
Dominik Granak Dynamo Moscow (RUS)
Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins (NHL)
Martin Marincin Edmonton Oilers (NHL)
Andrej Meszaros Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
Andrej Sekera Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
Michal Sersen Bratislava (KHL)
Lubomir Visnovsky New York Islanders (NHL)
Name Birthdate Hometown Current Team
04/09/1981 Trencin, Slovakia Slovan Bratislava (KHL)
02/14/1982 Trencin, Slovakia Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL
03/11/1977 Banska Bystrika, Slovakia Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
10/12/1981 Ilava, Slovakia Dinamo Riga (KHL)
01/12/1979 Stará Lubovna, Slovakia Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
12/28/1992 Kosice, Slovakia Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
02/05/1982 Ilava, Slovakia Florida Panthers (NHL)
Tomas Marcinko 04/11/1988 Poprad, Slovakia HC Kosice (SVK)
Michel Miklik 07/31/1982 Piešťany, Slovakia Slovan Bratislava (KHL)
10/11/1985 Nove Zamky, Slovakia Slovan Bratislava (KHL)
02/07/1991 Martin, Slovakia Tampa Bay Lightning(NHL)
09/24/1981 Banska Bystrika, Slovakia Dynamo Minsk (KHL)
12/01/1990 Ilava, Slovakia Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Tomas Zaborsky 11/14/1987 Banska Bystrika, Slovakia Salavat Yulayev Ufa (RUS)
2010 finish: 4th place finish in Vancouver, lost 3-2 to Canada in the semi finals.
2014 prediction: 3rd place in Group A