Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 9:25 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Fowler, Weekes talk Olympics on NHL Live

There was plenty of talk about the 2014 Sochi Olympics on NHL Live on NHL Network on Thursday night.

Anaheim Ducks and U.S. defenseman Cam Fowler joined Ken Daneyko and Steve Mears by phone to discuss the upcoming Olympics, as well as the Ducks' recent struggles and the recent 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium.

"I'm obviously just very honored and humbled to be a part of that team and a part of that experience. I'm really just looking forward to getting over there and getting to know the guys and getting to know the systems and the coaching staff," the first-time Olympian said. "I'm sure when that first game's there will definitely be some butterflies, but I think those will go away after the first few shifts."

Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 3:33 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Blue Jackets forward Gaborik to miss Olympics

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik will miss the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the team announced Thursday.

Gaborik, who sustained a broken collarbone Dec. 21 against the Philadelphia Flyers, had hoped to return in time to play for his native Slovakia.

"I'm extremely disappointed that I won't be able to play for Slovakia at the Olympic Games but understand the decision is the right one for my recovery and for the national team," Gaborik said. "I have been lucky and proud to represent my country at two Olympic Games and other international tournaments and look forward to doing so again in the future."

Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 2:28 PM

By Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor / - Road to Sochi blog

Islanders' Tavares gained familiarity with St. Louis

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders captain John Tavares spent Thursday morning preparing for a game against the Calgary Flames later that night at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, so he had no idea that Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis had been selected to replace Steven Stamkos on Canada's roster at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Stamkos, who sustained a broken tibia in a game against the Boston Bruins on Nov. 11, did everything he could to work his way back into Tampa Bay's lineup before the Olympics so he could represent Canada at the Olympics. But it was announced Wednesday that Stamkos has not been medically cleared to play.

St. Louis, who leads the Lightning with 54 points (25 goals, 29 assists) in 56 games, was originally left off the roster when it was announced by Hockey Canada last month. The 38-year-old and Tavares, 23, were roommates at Canada's orientation camp last summer.

"It's great for Marty and well deserved," Tavares said after being informed of the news by a reporter. "He's a tremendous person and I think he's proven throughout his career what he's accomplished and the impact he can make on a team like that and a tournament like this.

"[He's] just a great guy. I think he doesn't take anything for granted. He's worked for everything he's got. I think he's always had that kind of mindset. He's a lot of fun to be around too. He's not this old guy, grumpy guy. He's fun and energetic and extremely hard-working."

Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 2:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Road to Sochi blog

Healthy Timonen relieved to play in Olympics

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen isn't the sort of person who shows his emotions publicly.

But in speaking with the 38-year-old, it's obvious how important is for him to play for his native Finland in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. And after missing two games with a foot injury, Timonen said two days of skating has him feeling healthy enough to get back in the lineup for the Flyers for their game Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche.

"The last five, six days have been tough," said Timonen, who was injured blocking a shot during a game Jan. 31 against the Anaheim Ducks. "I want to play. The Olympics is coming. I want to get a couple games in, at least one. It [the foot] is going the right way and I feel pretty good. It's a good feeling."

Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 1:38 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - Road to Sochi blog

Canada coach Babcock thrilled to have St. Louis

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, who will play for the United States team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, summed up pretty well the news that Martin St. Louis would replace Steven Stamkos on the Canadian squad.

"They replace a great player with another great player," Howard said after the Red Wings' morning skate in preparation for their game against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. "It's as simple as that."

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was more directly affected by the change because he'll be the head coach for the Canadian team.

"I feel bad for [Stamkos]," Babcock said. "He's one of the best players in the NHL. I love watching him play. High-powered kid. He's really learning how to play the game 200 feet. He would have been a real asset.

"In saying that, St. Louis has had a great year. He's had four great years since the last Olympics. It was really hard decisions when we were picking the team. He goes in as a group of one of 14 and then he's got to carve out whatever he can carve for himself, just like the rest of the guys. We're thrilled to have him. He's a great person. He competes hard. He's ultra-competitive and we want him to bring that."

Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 12:40 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

St. Louis to take Stamkos' place on Canadian roster

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis has been selected to replace Steven Stamkos on Canada's roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Hockey Canada announced Thursday morning.

St. Louis, 38, will be going to his second Olympics, having played for Canada in 2006. It'll be his first international tournament since the 2009 IIHF World Championship, when he had 15 points in nine games.

"They called me yesterday," St. Louis said. "Great opportunity for me. I think if you asked Stamkos who he wants to replace him it would be me. So I'll do the best I can."

"It's great for Marty," Stamkos said. "If there is anyone in our locker room that deserves it from day one it is Marty."

Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 8:15 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Oilers' Smyth talks Olympics on NHL Live

Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Smyth joined NHL Live in studio to talk about his season and competing in the Olympic games.

Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 12:56 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Rangers' Olympians to appear on NBC's 'Today Show'

New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan will join teammates Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh as guests on NBC's "Today Show" on Wednesday in the 8:30 a.m. (ET) half-hour live from Rockefeller Center in New York City.

The trio, who will play for the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, will be interviewed by Savannah Guthrie to discuss the anticipation of competing for a gold medal.

Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 9:50 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Capitals' Erat named to Czech Republic team

Washington Capitals forward Martin Erat has been named to the Czech Republic roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

He takes the place of St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka, who went on injured reserve this past weekend with a leg injury.

"We've counted with Vladimir Sobotka as a top two-way forward, he is extraordinary on defense," Czech Republic coach Alois Hadamczik said. "After he got injured, we had to find similar kind of a player and Martin Erat is best in defense among all candidates."

Erat has 21 points, all assists, in 48 games for the Washington Capitals this season.

"It's always nice to play for your national team, especially as a big tournament as Olympics are," said Erat, who will make his third Olympic appearance. "It's going to be nice to change scenarios for a while and hope [we] get something done there."

Posted On Monday, 02.03.2014 / 7:40 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Capitals' Carlson talks representing USA on NHL Live

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson joined NHL Live via telephone to discuss his upcoming trip to Russia for the 2014 Sochi Olympics as a member of the United States team.

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