Men's Ice Hockey: Five Players Singing Olympic Swan Songs

Eric LaForgeCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2010

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 21:  Goalie Martin Brodeur #30 of Canada looks on against the United States during the ice hockey men's preliminary game between Canada and USA on day 10 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 21, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

This year, the Olympics have been full of surprises. The first was Team Russia being defeated by Slovakia in a shootout, and the biggest was Team USA's upset over Canada on Sunday night.

Now that the Olympics are coming to an end, and we are getting ready to finish the regular season in the NHL, we can start thinking about some of the players that won't be representing their countries in 2014. These five players are singing their Olympic swan songs and will not get another chance to play in the Olympics.

#5. Jaromir Jagr - F - Czech Republic

Although Jagr no longer plays in the NHL, every fan knows who he is. He had some great years in the NHL, and some analysts are even talking about a potential return.

Regardless of any return that Jagr makes to the NHL, his career will not last until 2014. Last week, Jagr celebrated his 38th birthday. His age is definitely a factor.

We also can't be sure if he'd be able to readjust to the NHL style of play. He has gotten pretty banged up during the Olympics.

During these Olympics, he hasn't really been seen in much of a spotlight. That is with the exception of the Ovehkin hit. However, the spotlight that followed him around when he played in the NHL makes it a big deal that he won't come back in 2014.

#4. Sergei Fedorov - F - Russia

Personally, I can't believe that Fedorov is still around in the 2010 Olympics. His game has never been the same since he left the Detroit Red Wings, and he hasn't been able to produce the numbers that were once expected of him.

He also used to be known for his speed, which doesn't always show anymore. He is now playing in the KHL which is slower than the NHL, and much easier for him to keep up.

Like Jagr, he was once a great player and he meant a lot to the Detroit Red Wings. However, his recent play, and the fact that he now plays for the KHL, will make his swan song quieter, and less important than other players'.

#3. Nicklas Lidstrom - D - Sweden

At 39 years old, this is going to be the last time that Nick Lidstrom plays with Team Sweden. This year, he hasn't been scoring the amount of goals that he has in previous years, but he has still been great defensively.

Lidstrom is still able to keep up and defend against some of the best players in the world. He's a very good candidate to call on when Sweden needs to stop a scoring threat.

However, Lidstrom's experience goes farther than his playing ability. His teammates have a ton of respect for him, and he's not the kind of guy that will crack under pressure.

Lidstrom's Olympic swan song will be one of the loudest in the Olympics, simply because of the role he will be asked to play.

#2. Teemu Selanne - F - Finland

Teemu Selanne is one of the best (if not the best) player Finland has ever put on the ice. He is a hero in his home country, and, like Lidstrom, is well respected by the rest of his team. Selanne is also 39 years old, and is also singing an Olympic swan song.

Selanne has already made the headlines during these Olympics by breaking the record for the most Olympic points with 37 (20 goals, 17 assists). However, he's also playing a more important role on his team as a leader.

Like I said before, Selanne is well respected by his teammates. When he raises the level of his game, other players are more likely to raise the level of theirs. Combine this with the fact that he's still a huge scoring threat, and you get one of the most important players on Team Finland.

#1. Martin Brodeur - G - Canada

I started questioning whether or not Martin Brodeur would be around for the 2014 Olympics when he got pulled for the game against Germany. He is 37 years old, and probably has a few years left in him. He would be 41 years old in 2014, and as we all know, that doesn't mean he won't still be in the NHL.

However, if he is around in 2014, he won't be the same goalie that he is now. Right now, Luongo looks like he's going to be the better choice to put in goal. His stats are great, and he's consistently shown that he can stop a puck under pressure.

Unfortunately, Brodeur's swan song ended on a sour note with the critical mistake he made against the Americans. That mistake proved to be a game changer, and led to what many are calling the "second miracle on ice".

But that mistake isn't going to stop Brodeur from going down as one of the best goalies of all time, possibly the best. However, it may have stopped him from getting a full chance to bring a Gold Medal to Canada. That would have made his Olympic swan song sound even better.

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