Next month, NHLers will be taking part in national camps to determine who will represent their countries at the 2010 Winter Olympics. The buildup is smaller here in the United States, but in Canada, Russia, Sweden and other powerful hockey countries, it is the talk of the summer.
, Dan Boyle
and Patrick Marleau
will represent the Sharks at the Team Canada camp in August. Joe Pavelski
has been tabbed as well for Team USA’s camp.
“I was at the last one four years ago,” said Boyle. “You want to enjoy yourself and meet the different guys. There will be a couple of practices and some scrimmages, but it is more to get to meet each other.”
Players’ actions during the first part of the 2009-10 NHL season will likely play the biggest role in being selected to a national team.
“This year there will be a lot of new faces,” said Boyle. “Some of the bubble guys could make an impression.”
The scrimmages can give national teams an early glimpse of who may fit well together on certain lines or in defensive pairings.
“There is a little of seeing how guys play with each other,” said Boyle.
Many other Sharks will also receive national team attention this summer as most countries are close to announcing their camp invites. A few players seem to be virtual locks, included netminders Evgeni Nabokov (Russia) and Thomas Greiss
(Germany) and blueliner Christian Ehrhoff (Germany).
Others like Douglas Murray
(Sweden) and Milan Michalek (Czech) should at a minimum be included in the summer camps and could easily find their way to Vancouver in 2010. There have also been mentions of Devin Setoguchi being a possible camp replacement if someone can’t make it this summer for Canada.
The NHL season will shut down from February 14-March 1 for the Olympics, but there should be plenty of Sharks players in action during the “off” time.