What would the Winter Olympics be without the participation of NHL players?
Hopefully we never have to find out.
As exciting as skiing, sliding and figure skating may be to some fans of the Winter Games, there's nothing like watching the world's best hockey players suit up against each other wearing their country's emblem on their chests rather than their league colors.
With the uncertainty of the NHL's participation in future Olympics, this tournament has an even brighter than usual spotlight shining on it. And the superstars are ready for it.
Players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, Anze Kopitar, Henrik Zetterberg and the injured Steven Stamkos can be considered runners-up when it comes to star power this month.
Read on for a look at the biggest names fighting for gold in Sochi, Russia.