A good portion of hockey fans are upset that the best players in the world aren’t allowed to play at the Olympics, and understandably so.
They want to see best-on-best, they want to see elite NHLers face-off against other elite NHLers. But, the mishandling of the whole ordeal by pretty much everyone involved has prevented that from happening.
I am not part of this majority.
Although few things beat best-on-best, I think teams full of players who wouldn’t normally be in this situation, given a chance to represent their country on the highest stage, will be.
Not everyone will recognize all the names, and that’s fine, but there’s no denying these guys are very skilled, and will provide quite the show. Many of these guys are at the end of their careers, but those careers included lengthy stints in the NHL.
Don’t kid yourself, these guys aren’t just happy to be there, the want to win.
I’m looking forward to the stories that will come out during the games. Like that of former OHLers Chris Kelly and Wojtek Wolski, who both suffered career threatening injuries. Wolksi’s was as recent as October 2016.
I think hockey fans will be pleasantly surprised by the games, I for one am looking forward to it.
Hockey Canada and USA Hockey both announced their Olympic rosters this week, and both include a handful of former OHLers.
Here’s a breakdown by country:
Justin Peters – Cologne Sharks (DEL) | Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, Plymouth Whalers (2002-06)
Chris Kelly – Belleville Senators (AHL) | London Knights, Sudbury Wolves (1997-01)
Eric O’Dell – HC Sochi (KHL) | Sudbury Wolves (2007-11)
Derek Roy – HC Linkopings (SHL) | Kitchener Rangers (1999-03)
Christian Thomas – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL) | London Knights, Oshawa Generals (2008-12)
Wojtek Wolski – Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL) | Brampton Battalion (2002-06)
Brandon Maxwell – BK Mlada Boleslav (Czech) | Kitchener Rangers, Sarnia Sting, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (2009-12)
Bobby Sanguinetti – HC Lugano (NLA) | Owen Sound Attack, Brampton Battalion (2004-08)
James Wisniewski – EC Kassel Huskies (DEL2) |Plymouth Whalers (2000-04)