With today's announcement of the outstanding Olympic rosters, the New York Rangers will officially send 7 players to the Olympic games beginning February 8th. In addition to previously announced Americans Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh, and Derek Stepan, Rick Nash will represent Canada, Mats Zuccarello goes for Norway, and a pair of Swedes–Henrik Lundqvist and Carl Hagelin–are headed to Sochi.
Of the 4 players announced today, the lone controversial selection is Rick Nash. Despite 2 goals last night, the Big Smooth has suffered through a poor first half, with just 9 goals. Nash makes it more on his track record than current merit–he's a two-time Olympian who was on Canada's Gold medal winning squad in 2010. That, coupled with his size, speed, and one-on-one ability made him too much for Canada to pass up, especially on the larger international ice surface.
Henrik Lundqvist–a 2006 Gold medalist–will again be the primary backstop for a Swedish team with medal aspirations. Like Nash, Lundqvist's numbers haven't exactly met his high expectations, and Sweden, like the Rangers, will hope he finds his game in the month remaining before the games get underway. Optimistically, the hope is that the change of scenery provided by the Olympics will help the King rediscover his Gold medal form.
Carl Hagelin is the lone first-timer of the 4 Rangers' Olympians named today. The speedy winger figures to slot in nicely as a bottom-6 forward and penalty killer for Sweden, though with the combination of his torrential speed and the international ice surface, he could be effective in an even larger role.
Don't turn off your TV when Mats Zuccarello and Norway are playing. Not because the Norsemen (is that what they're called?) have any chance of medaling, but because Norway, devoid of any other NHL talent, will rely on everyone's favorite hobbit-wizard to do it all for them. He's not quite a miracle worker, but you can bet Zuccarello has some nifty tricks up his sleeve for the larger ice surface.
The lone snub of sorts on the Blueshirts' roster is Marc Staal, who was in the running for a spot on Team Canada. You could make an argument Staal is more deserving than Dan Hamhuis, the consensus 4th of Canada's 4 left handed D, but an injury and a lack of points certainly didn't help Staal's case.
Chris Kreider, while not quite a snub, is the recipient of the teams "see you in 2018" award, for player most likely to play in the Olympics in 4 years that didn't make it this time around.
-The all-snub team, lead by the likes of Martin St. Louis, Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Alex Semin, Victor Hedman, Tyler Seguin, Bobby Ryan, Claude Giroux, Kyle Okposo and plenty more, looks pretty good, doesn't it?
-Former Rangers Artem Anisimov and Fedor Tyutin will represent Russia. Jaromir Jagr and Petr Nedved (yes, 42-year-old Petr Nedved is still playing) both made it for the geriatric Czechs.
-Twice now Martin St. Louis has been excluded from team Canada by his NHL GM, Steve Yzerman. At least you can't accuse Yzerman of favoritism.
- The New York Rangers’ Don’t Bring “A” Game, Hold on to Beat Tampa 4-3
- Captain Cally Returns, JT Miller Sits, D Remains the Same for New York Rangers Tonight
- New York Rangers Need Rick Nash to Find His All-Star Form
- New York Rangers Unable to Complete the Comeback, Fall to Columbus 4-3 in Shootout
- New York Rangers Mysteriously Take First Half of Game Off, Fall to Penguins 5-2
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/16g6