Skip to main content

See also:

Not many surprises as Blackhawks have 10 players named to Olympic rosters

There weren’t many surprises among the Blackhawks when the Olympic rosters were finished being announced on Tuesday. After the dust settled, the Blackhawks had a total of 10 players announced as Olympians. The 10 players selected are top in the NHL for a team along with the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings. Here are the players who have been selected for the Olympics.

United States

Selected: Patrick Kane-RW

Not Selected: Brandon Saad-LW, Nick Leddy-D

Analysis: There wasn’t much of a surprise here as Kane was a lock as he will start on the top line. It was agonizing for Saad who appears to have been one of the final cuts. Read this piece by ESPN’s Scott Burnside for terrific analysis on the USA selection process. If injuries do knock a winger out, do not be surprised if Saad winds up in Russia for team USA. Leddy had no chance of making the Olympic team as detailed in my piece last week. This is the second selection for Kane.

Canada

Selected: Duncan Keith-D, Patrick Sharp-LW, Jonathan Toews-C

Not selected: Corey Crawford-G, Brent Seabrook-D

Analysis: Again not much of a surprise here. Keith has been fantastic and was a lock at the start of the process as his skating ability will help Canada in Russia. Keith has 39 assists this year good for second in the NHL. Toews was a lock as well as his two way game meshes and allows others to be more aggressive. Sharp has scored 15 goals in his past 17 games in December and January and that surge led to him being selected. It was no surprise that Crawford missed as his injuries held him back as well as a perception that he is just an above average goalie. On defense, Dan Hamhuis got the nod over Seabrook and Dion Phaneuf because of the 4-4 split desired on defense for left hand and right hand shots. This is the second selection to the Olympics for Keith and Toews and the first for Sharp.

Czech Republic

Selected: Michal Rozsival-D

Not selected: No one

Analysis: In all of my wisdom in my preview article, I forgot to consider Rozsival. Expect to see heavy minutes for Rozsival on defense as he will be most likely in the top four as he continues his impressive run with the Blackhawks. This will be the first Olympic selection for Rozsival.

Slovakia

Selected: Michal Handzus-C, Marian Hossa-RW

Not selected: No one

Analysis: No surprises here as Handzus and Hossa were both locks for the team. There is no center depth on Slovakia and Handzus is on the team to serve as a top center and because of his veteran leadership. There is a possibility that you might see Hossa as the captain and he will be relied on as the go-to scorer for Slovakia. In 15 career Olympic games, Hossa has 12 goals and 13 assists. This is the fourth selection for both Handzus and Hossa.

Sweden

Selected: Niklas Hjalmarsson-D, Marcus Kruger-C, Johnny Oduya-D

Not selected: No one

Analysis: The one major surprise that was named to the team was Kruger. He hasn’t shown much of an offensive game which has to make you wonder if Kruger is on the team for his penalty killing experience since Sweden is stacked with offensive talent such as the Sedin twins, Alexander Steen and Henrik Zetterberg. Hjalmarsson was a lock as he has improved significantly on defense. In 45 games, Hjalmarsson has set career highs for goals (4) and points (18). Oduya has been a stalwart for the Blackhawks. It is frequent that Oduya and Hjalmarsson take on the top lines of other teams. In 45 games, Oduya has 2 goals and 8 assists. This will be the second selection for Oduya and the first for Hjalmarsson and Kruger.