Rangers forward Marian Gaborik
, who is currently tied for the NHL goals lead with 26 on the season, will be returning to the Olympics as a member of Team Slovakia.
Gaborik was one of the 23 players named to the Slovak Olympic team on Tuesday -- a group that includes 12 NHL players as well as several others playing in European leagues.
|Marian Gaborik is on a pace to shatter Jaromir Jagr's Rangers record of 54 goals in one season. Jagr also played in the Olympics during his record-setting 2005-06 campaign with the Blueshirts. |
Gaborik, who took part in the 2006 Olympics at Torino, Italy, is one of the three big NHL names on the Slovak roster. The others are forward Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks and defenseman Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins
Former Washington Capitals star Peter Bondra is the general manager of this year's Slovak team. On Tuesday, Bondra named 13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders to the team, which will be coached by Jan Filc.
Several other NHL players who were part of Slovakia's 2006 roster who are returning to the team for the 2010 Games. This group includes center Pavol Demitra of the Vancouver Canucks, defenseman Milan Jurcina of the Columbus Blue Jackets, defenseman Andrej Meszaros of the Tampa Bay Lightning and goaltender Peter Budaj of the Colorado Avalanche.
Miroslav Satan, another member of the 2006 team, is not playing professionally this season, but he still earned a roster spot on the 2010 entry.
Bondra can still make changes to the roster up until Feb. 15. Final rosters must be submitted to the IIHF that day and no changes, for any reason, can be made afterward.
Bondra also opted for Michal Handzus of the Los Angeles Kings, right wing Tomas Kopecky of the Detroit Red Wings, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky of the Edmonton Oilers, defenseman Andrej Sekera of the Buffalo Sabres and goaltender Jaroslav Halak of the Montreal Canadiens from his NortH American options.
Rounding out the roster are forwards Lubos Bartecko of SC Bern in Switzerland, Branko Radivojevic of Spartak Moscow in Russia, Marcel Hossa of Dinamo Riga in Russia, Ziggy Palffy of HK 36 Skalica in Slovakia, Jozef Stumpel of Barys Astana in Russia and Richard Zednik of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in Russia; defensemen Richard Lintner of Dinamo Minsk in Russia, Martin Strbak of HK MVD in Russia, and goaltender Rastislav Stana of Severstal Cerepovic in Russia.
The NHL Olympic break begins on Feb. 16. Slovakia's first game is scheduled for Feb. 17, and the gold-medal game is scheduled for Feb. 28.