Chicago Blackhawks: 15 'Hawks Who Could Wind Up on an Olympic Roster
The Chicago Blackhawks are sure to be well represented at the 2014 Olympic Games. As evaluation camp rosters are announced for the Olympic tournament in Sochi, Russia, there is a strong likelihood that up to 15 Blackhawks spend the three-week reprieve in February skating for one of six national teams.
Here's a quick look at the 'Hawks who could wind up skating for their home countries next February. All camp roster information comes from NHL.com.
Three Blackhawks were invited to the U.S. evaluation camp in Arlington, Virginia, August 26-27.
Patrick Kane, a veteran of the 2010 game in Vancouver, is a lock for the American roster. Calder Trophy-finalist Brandon Saad and defenseman Nick Leddy were also invited to camp.
The competition will be tough for Saad and Leddy, but at this point at least one of the U.S.-born 'Hawks should be on the squad.
Three Blackhawks earned gold medals in Vancouver. Team Canada has invited five players to Calgary August 25-28 for evaluation.
Looking to return to the roster are Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Also getting a look in Calgary will be Patrick Sharp and Corey Crawford.
Toews and Keith seem to be good bets for the team. Seabrook's 2013 season was up and down, but he and Sharp are also strong candidates for the team.
The Swedes are the current world champions following their gold-medal performance at the World Championships this past spring. The roster will be very different with the NHL talent available for the Olympic tournament.
Johnny Oduya skated for Team Sweden in 2010. Oduya was invited to Sweden's evaluation camp August 12-14 in Stockholm.
Also making the trip for a shot at the national team is defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and forward Marcus Kruger.
Slovakia has not released a camp roster as of Tuesday. However, it is a good bet that the two current 'Hawks who skated on the 2010 team that finished fourth in the tournament will get a look.
Both Marian Hossa and Michael Handzus finished the 2013 playoffs with a host of injuries. It is still likely that both players will skate for their home country if healthy enough to do so.
Handzus is nearing the end of his playing career but has represented Slovakia in three previous Olympics. Hossa also competed on the 2002, 2006 and 2010 squads and has racked up 25 points in 15 games.
Longshots for Sochi
Michal Rozsival has played on two Czech Republic teams at the World Championships. He is a longshot to get a call to an evaluation camp, let alone make the Olympic squad.
Finland, 2010's bronze medalists, has announced its camp roster. Recent 'Hawks signee Antti Raanta is one of eight goalies being evaluated. However, the competition is tough. Also in camp in goal is 2010 starter Niklas Backstrom, who may not even make the Finnish team. Pekka Rinne, Tuukka Rask, Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen are also in the hunt for a spot. The chances of Raanta winning a spot on the team are pretty remote.