NEW YORK (December 23, 2005) -- A record 158 NHL players have been selected to play for the 12 nations that will compete for the men's ice hockey gold medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy this February, according to the 23-man rosters (20 skaters, three goaltenders) submitted by the national federations to the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Highlighting the diversity of the NHL player base, the Colorado Avalanche boasts a League-leading 11 Olympic nominees, representing eight nations, while the Philadelphia Flyers had 10 players named, representing six countries. The men's ice hockey tournament at Turin will take place over 12 days, from February 15-26. The NHL's regular-season schedule pauses following the games of Feb. 12 and resumes Feb. 28.
The 2006 Winter Games in Turin marks the third consecutive Olympic participation by NHL players. In the previous two Olympics, in 1998 at Nagano, Japan and 2002 at Salt Lake City, 125 and 145 NHL players, respectively, were selected to compete.
In 2002, Canada defeated the United States, 5-2, to erase a 50-year ice hockey gold-medal drought. The game was the most-watched event in Canadian television history, as the CBC broadcast recorded 11 million viewers. In the U.S., NBC posted 38 million viewers for the game, making it the most-watched hockey broadcast since the U.S "miracle" victory over the Soviet Union in 1980 at Lake Placid.
In 1998 at Nagano, Japan, the Czech Republic won its first Olympic ice hockey gold medal by beating Russia, 1-0, behind the brilliant goaltending of Dominik Hasek. More than 100,000 jubilant fans turned out the next day in Prague's Old Town Square to celebrate and welcome home the champions.
An estimated 2,800 accredited media are expected at Turin, with Olympic television coverage reaching more than 2.3 billion people in 160 countries worldwide. NBC and CBC again will broadcast the Olympics in the U.S. and Canada, respectively. Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (5):
Scott Niedermayer (CAN); Teemu Selanne (FIN); Sandis Ozolinsh (LAT); Ilya Bryzgalov (RUS); Samuel Pahlsson (SWE). Atlanta Thrashers (4):
Kari Lehtonen (FIN); Ilya Kovalchuk (RUS); Peter Bondra and Marian Hossa (SVK). Boston Bruins (4):
Marco Sturm (GER); Alexei Zhamnov (RUS); Milan Jurcina (SVK); P.J. Axelsson (SWE). Buffalo Sabres (5):
Toni Lydman and Teppo Numminen (FIN); Jochen Hecht (GER); Maxim Afinogenov (RUS); Chris Drury (USA). Calgary Flames (4):
Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr (CAN); Miikka Kiprusoff (FIN); Jordan Leopold (USA). Carolina Hurricanes (3):
Frantisek Kaberle (CZE); Martin Gerber (SUI); Erik Cole (USA). Chicago Blackhawks (3):
Jaroslav Spacek (CZE); Tuomo Ruutu (FIN); Nikolai Khabibulin (RUS). Colorado Avalanche (11):
Rob Blake and Joe Sakic (CAN); Milan Hejduk (CZE); Antti Laaksonen and Ossi Vaananen (FIN); Vitaly Kolesnik (KAZ), Karlis Skrastins (LAT), David Aebischer (SUI), Peter Budaj and Marek Svatos (SVK); John-Michael Liles (USA). Columbus Blue Jackets (4):
Adam Foote and Rick Nash (CAN); David Vyborny (CZE), Radoslav Suchy (SVK). Dallas Stars (6):
Marty Turco (CAN); Niko Kapanen, Jere Lehtinen and Antti Miettinen (FIN); Bill Guerin and Mike Modano (USA). Detroit Red Wings (9):
Kris Draper (CAN); Robert Lang (CZE); Pavel Datsyuk (RUS); Niklas Kronwall; Nicklas Lidstrom; Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg (SWE); Chris Chelios and Mathieu Schneider (USA). Edmonton Oilers (3):
Chris Pronger and Ryan Smyth (CAN); Ales Hemsky (CZE). Florida Panthers (4):
Roberto Luongo (CAN); Rostislav Olesz (CZE), Olli Jokinen (FIN); Jozef Stumpel (SVK). Los Angeles Kings (6):
Alexander Frolov (RUS); Pavol Demitra and Lubomir Visnovsky (SVK); Mattias Norstrom (SWE); Craig Conroy and Aaron Miller (USA). Minnesota Wild (4):
Filip Kuba (CZE); Mikko Koivu (FIN); Marian Gaborik (SVK); Brian Rolston (USA). Montreal Canadiens (6):
Jan Bulis (CZE); Saku Koivu (FIN); Alexei Kovalev and Andrei Markov (RUS); Mark Streit (SUI); Richard Zednik (SVK). Nashville Predators (5):
Martin Erat, Tomas Vokoun and Marek Zidlicky (CZE); Kimmo Timonen (FIN); Daniil Markov (RUS). New Jersey Devils (5):
Martin Brodeur (CAN); Viktor Kozlov (RUS); Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez and Brian Rafalski (USA). NY Islanders (6):
Alexei Yashin and Alexei Zhitnik (RUS); Miroslav Satan (SVK); Jason Blake, Rick DiPietro and Mark Parrish (USA). NY Rangers (9):
Jaromir Jagr, Marek Malik, Petr Prucha, Martin Rucinsky and Martin Straka (CZE); Darius Kasparaitis and Fedor Tyutin (RUS); Marcel Hossa (SVK); Henrik Lundqvist (SWE). Ottawa Senators (8):
Dany Heatley and Wade Redden (CAN); Dominik Hasek (CZE); Christoph Schubert (GER); Anton Volchenkov (RUS); Zdeno Chara and Andrej Meszaros (SVK); Daniel Alfredsson (SWE). Philadelphia Flyers (10): Simon Gagne
(CAN); Sami Kapanen and Joni Pitkanen (FIN); Dennis Seidenberg (GER); Michal Handzus (SVK); Peter Forsberg and Kim Johnsson (SWE); Robert Esche, Derian Hatcher and Mike Knuble (USA). Phoenix Coyotes (2):
Shane Doan (CAN); Ladislav Nagy (SVK). Pittsburgh Penguins (1):
Sergei Gonchar (RUS). St. Louis Blues (4):
Petr Cajanek (CZE); Christian Backman (SWE); Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight (USA). San Jose Sharks (4):
Joe Thornton (CAN); Christian Ehrhoff and Marcel Goc (GER); Evgeni Nabokov (RUS). Tampa Bay Lightning (7):
Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis (CAN); Pavel Kubina and Vaclav Prospal (CZE); Fredrik Modin (SWE); John Grahame (USA). Toronto Maple Leafs (5):
Tomas Kaberle (CZE); Aki Berg (FIN); Nik Antropov (KAZ); Mats Sundin and Mikael Tellqvist (SWE). Vancouver Canucks (8):
Todd Bertuzzi and Ed Jovanovski (CAN); Jarkko Ruutuand Sami Salo (FIN); Markus Naslund, Mattias Ohlund, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin (SWE). Washington Capitals (3):
Olaf Kolzig (GER); Alexander Ovechkin (RUS); Ivan Majesky (SVK).
All three goalies to play for the Colorado Avalanche this season have been selected to represent their countries. Vitaly Kolesnik (KAZ); David Aebischer (SUI); Peter Budaj (SVK).
Six sets of brothers with NHL experience are featured, including two sets of brothers for Finland. Frantisek and Tomas Kaberle (CZE); Mikko and Saku Koivu, Tuomo and Jarkko Ruutu (FIN); Marcel and Sascha Goc (GER); Marcel and Marian Hossa (SLO); Daniel and Henrik Sedin (SWE).
Two of the 12 countries, Canada and the United States, featured rosters comprised solely of NHL players from the 2005-2006 season.
A total of 17 NHL rookies have been selected to Olympic rosters. Anaheim's Ilya Bryzgalov (RUS); Colorado's Peter Budaj (SVK); San Jose's Marcel Goc (GER); Boston's Milan Jurcina (SVK); Minnesota's Mikko Koivu (FIN); Niklas Kronwall (SWE); Atlanta's Kari Lehtonen (FIN); New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist (SWE) and Fedor Tyutin (RUS); Ottawa's Andrej Meszaros (SVK); Dallas' Antti Miettinen (FIN); Florida's Rostislav Olesz (CZE); Washington's Alexander Ovechkin (RUS); New York Rangers' Petr Prucha (CZE); Ottawa's Christoph Schubert (GER); Colorado's Marek Svatos (SVK); and Toronto's Mikael Tellqvist (SWE).
14 NHL Captains are featured on Olympic rosters. Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson (SWE); Phoenix's Shane Doan (CAN); Columbus' Adam Foote (CAN); Calgary's Jarome Iginla (CAN); Florida's Olli Jokinen (FIN); Montreal's Saku Koivu (FIN); Minnesota's Filip Kuba* (CZE); Dallas' Mike Modano (USA); Vancouver's Markus Naslund (SWE); Anaheim's Scott Neidermayer (CAN); Los Angeles' Mattias Norstrom (SWE); Colorado's Joe Sakic (CAN); Toronto's Mats Sundin (SWE); and New York Islanders' Alexei Yashin (RUS). *Kuba was captain for month of October