Team Czech Republic will have two of the oldest hockey players on their roster when the 214 Sochi Olympic Games kick off next week in Russia.
Fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, and now, the New Jersey Devils, will continue to have reason to hope the Czechs have some success in Sochi.
Jaromir Jagr didn’t score many (or any) points during the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup run last spring, but he did stick it out the entire playoff and stayed healthy enough to play and did not get hurt.
“He’s a machine,” says Philadelphia winger Jakub Voracek, who will be joining Jagr in Sochi. “He is 41-years-old , he’s going to be 42 in February. He’s got a point per game.”
Jagr has had a solid season thus far with New Jersey, scoring 13 goals and 21 assists through 43 games.
And even at age 41, Jagr is not the oldest player on the Czech Republic roster. That distinction will be held by former Vancouver Canuck, Petr Nedved.
Nedved actually helped Team Canada to asilver medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, he had been a surprise selection to the team. He is currently 42 years old and plays for the provincial team White Tigers Liberec in the Czech League.
There will be a handful of other players who are usually up and down at the best of times with their NHL teams.
Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadians will be the captain, while Jagr’s teammate Patrik Elias, and David Krejci of the Boston Bruins are other top Czech forwards.
Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec also nained down a roster spot.
DIDN’T MAKE IT
Calgary veteran Jiri Hudler, who has 33 points this year with the Flames, was left off the roster. Phoenix left-wing Radim Vrbata is another surprising omission.
The Czechs open the tournament Feb. 12 against Sweden and also face Latvia and Switzerland in Group C.
The official 25-man roster is as follows:
Goaltenders: Jakub Kovar, Ondrej Pavelec, Alexander Salak.
Defencemen: Michal Barinka, Radko Gudas, Tomas Kaberle,Lukas Krajicek, Zbynek Michalek, Michal Rozsival, Ladislav Smid,Marek Zidlicky.
Forwards: Roman Cervenka, Patrik Elias, Michael Frolik,Martin Hanzal, Ales Hemsky, Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci,Milan Michalek, Petr Nedved, Jiri Novotny, Ondrej Palat,Tomas Plekanec, Vladimir Sobotka, Jakub Voracek.
2010 finish: lost 2-0 to Finland in the quarter finals.
2014 predictions: second place in Group C.
Opening Day Opponent: The Czechs will open up against Latvia, on Valentine’s Day Feb. 14, and if you live in North America and want to watch this game, you will find a way to be awake at 3am!