VANCOUVER -- As he prepared for his first game back at Rogers Arena since scoring the gold-medal clinching goal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby was never a doubt to return with Canada to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The same could not be said for Penguins linemate Chris Kunitz, but thanks in part to their chemistry together both are Russia bound.
The Penguins pair was named to the Canadian roster for the Sochi Games on Tuesday morning, and while Crosby's status was a no-brainer there were questions about Kunitz becoming a first-time Olympian at age 34, especially with big names like Claude Giroux, Martin St. Louis, Logan Couture and Eric Staal left off Canada's roster.
Kunitz is sixth in NHL scoring with 47 points in 44 games, and tied for fourth with 23 goals, including 11 on the power play. But many have suggested those numbers, and his spot on Canada's Olympic team, are all about playing with Crosby, even after Canada general manager Steve Yzerman said Kunitz made it on his own merit.