At the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Canada will attempt to become the first nation to win three gold medals in men's ice hockey since the NHL first started allowing its players to participate in the Olympics.
The NHL announced Friday that it finalized an agreement to allow its players to travel to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Olympics.
Per an official NHL news release:
NHL players will be available to the 12 participating IIHF Member National Associations for the men's Olympic ice hockey tournament (February 12-23, 2014). This will mark the fifth consecutive time dating back to Nagano 1998 that NHL players have participated in the Olympics. More than 120 NHL players are expected to compete for their respective nations in Sochi.
After receiving confirmation that NHL players will go to the Olympics, let's look at the top contenders for the gold medal and make some predictions.