Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal is playing for Czech Republic at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: This is Hanzal's first appearance at the Olympics.
OTHER INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE:
|Photo by Norm Hall. |
Played in eight games and registered 1-3-4 with the Czech Republic at the IIHF World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland.
Collected three assists in six games for the Czech Republic at the IIHF World Championship in Halifax and Quebec City.2007:
Represented Czech Republic at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden…Finished with 2-1-3 in six games.2006:
Registered two assists in six games for Czech Republic at IIHF World Junior Championship in British Columbia.2005:
Posted 4-3-2 and was a plus-7 in seven games at IIHF U-18 World Championship in the Czech Republic…Was named to the tournament All-Star Team.
FUN FACT: Hanzal has vivid memories of celebrating with his parents when Czech Republic won the gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
HE SAID IT:
Do you like the bigger ice surface?
“We’ll see. It’s totally different hockey and it’s a different strategy and everything changes: penalty kill, power play, it’s all different. It all depends on the coaches and the style and it’s all in the strategy.”
On playing for his country:
“It’s really a big honor for me, especially in the Olympics because I would call it the best tournament because the NHL stops and you have all these superstars playing in a tournament and competing for a gold medal. I think it’s probably the best tournament in the world and it’s definitely a huge honor for me and I’m really proud.”
On Czech Republic's chances to win the gold medal:
“Everybody has a chance. I would call the top 4 - Canada, U.S., Sweden and Russia. But that’s the beauty of it; if you lose one game in the quarterfinals you’re out, so it makes it more exciting that everybody has the same chance. I remember in Nagano in1998 – the Czechs were outsiders and they won the gold medal so I think (being an underdog) may be a little better because you don’t have that pressure on your shoulders.”
COYOTES SOCHI CENTRAL