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Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 9:26 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Chara, Hossa, Halak highlight Slovakia Olympic roster

Slovakia again will not be short on star power at the 2014 Sochi Olympics as the country's 25-man roster announced Tuesday includes Zdeno Chara, Marian Hossa and Jaroslav Halak.

The Slovaks were the surprise team four years ago in Vancouver, qualifying for the semifinals and pushing Canada in that round before losing to Finland in the bronze-medal game. Chara, the Boston Bruins captain, will anchor a defense corps that includes NHL veterans Andrej Sekera (Carolina Hurricanes), Andrej Meszaros (Philadelphia Flyers), Lubomir Visnovsky (New York Islanders) and Edmonton Oilers rookie Martin Marincin.

Hossa, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks, has 12 goals and 25 points in 15 games at the Olympics (three tournaments). He leads a group of forwards that includes Marian Gaborik (Columbus Blue Jackets) and a trio of intriguing young NHL players in Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings and Richard Panik from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Halak, who beat Russia in the preliminary round and Sweden in the quarterfinals four years ago, will be the No. 1 guy in net again if healthy. He has missed a couple of games recently for the St. Louis Blues because of an illness.

Here is the 25-man roster for Slovakia:

Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 9:08 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Zuccarello lone NHL player on Norway Olympic roster

Norway is returning 13 members of the 2010 Olympic team to the roster for the 2014 edition in Sochi, the Norwegian hockey federation announced Tuesday.

Mats Zuccarello is among the returnees and is the only NHL player on the roster.

Zuccarello, who is playing a prominent role for the New York Rangers this season, is on pace for a 60-point season, which would be the best of an NHL career that took flight because of a strong showing for the Norwegians four years ago in Vancouver.

Former NHL player Patrick Thoresen, who now plays for SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League, also should be among the top offensive weapons for Norway, which finished 10th in Vancouver but provided a stern challenge for several teams.

On defense, Ole-Kristian Tollefson, who had a stint in the NHL, headlines the seven defensemen named.

Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 9:00 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

No Saku Koivu on Finland roster; sixth go for Selanne

A pair of teenagers and the absence of a national icon on Finland's 25-man roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics named Tuesday have signaled the start of a transition for the country.

Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta will provide a measure of youthful enthusiasm for the Finns, but Anaheim Ducks center Saku Koivu reportedly has declined an invitation to participate in his fifth Olympics and was not on the announced roster.

Finland is the only country to medal in three of the four tournaments since the NHL began taking a break from its schedule to allow players to participate in 1998.

Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 8:52 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Vanek, Grabner highlight Austrian Olympic roster

Three NHL players are on the roster for Austria named Tuesday to compete in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, including New York Islanders teammates Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner, as well as Philadelphia Flyers rookie Michael Raffl.

Vanek is the unquestioned star for the Austrians. He has 36 points this season in 41 games split between the Islanders and Buffalo Sabres. For his career he has 265 goals in 626 NHL games. He will be playing in the Olympics for the first time.

Raffl has 11 points in 29 games this season, his first with the Flyers after spending the past two seasons playing for Leksand in Sweden

Grabner, meanwhile, has five goals and 12 points in 40 games this season. He has 259 NHL games under his belt.

Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 8:49 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

FLA @ MTL - 0:23 of the Second Period

At 0:23 of the second period in the Panthers/Canadiens game, the Situation Room initiated a video review because the puck entered the Florida net. The referee informed the Situation Room that Montreal forward Travis Moen made incidental contact with Florida goaltender Tim Thomas, preventing Thomas from doing his job in the crease. This is not a reviewable play therefore the referee's call on the ice stands - no penalty and no goal Montreal.

Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 8:01 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

FLA @ MTL - 7:01 of the First Period

At 7:01 of the first period in the Panthers/Canadiens game, the Situation Room initiated a video review because the puck entered the Florida net. The referee informed the Situation Room the he blew his whistle to stop play and assess a penalty to each team before the puck crossed the goal line. This is not a reviewable play therefore the call on the ice stands - no goal Montreal.

Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 6:57 PM

By Matt Sitkoff - Contributor / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live: E.J. Hradek's Monday game picks

E.J. Hradek Game Picks Monday January 6th:

Dallas Stars vs New York Islanders - Stars

Columbus Blue Jackets vs New York Rangers - Rangers

Florida Panthers vs Montreal Canadiens - Canadiens

Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche - Avalanche

E.J.'s Season Record: 190-107-41

Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 6:46 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

New dad Okposo misses Isles' game vs. Stars

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo is not in the lineup Monday night against the Dallas Stars because his wife, Danielle, gave birth to the couple's first child earlier in the day.

Okposo announced the birth of his baby girl, Elliana Okposo, on his Twitter account while the Islanders were on the ice for warmups.

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