Roster Talk '11 – Latvia
Team Latvia 2011 (Camp Roster):
F - Girts Ankipans (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
F - Armands Berzins (HPK, SM-liiga)
F - Roberts Bukarts (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
F - Martins Cipulis (Amur Khabarovsk, KHL)
F - Lauris Darzins (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
F - Andris Dzerins (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
F - Roberts Jekimovs (Jokipojat, Finnish Mestis)
F - Martins Karsums (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
F - Ronalds Kenins (GC Kusnacht Lions, Swiss NLB)
F - Gints Meija (Dinamo Riga, KHL/Metalurgs Liepaja, Belarus)
F - Aleksandrs Nizivijs (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
F - Vitalijs Pavlovs (Metalurgs Liepaja, Belarus)
F - Sergejs Pecura (Krylia Sovetov, VHL)
F - Kristians Pelss (Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL)
F - Mikelis Redlihs (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
F - Kaspars Saulietis (HPK, SM-liiga)
F - Aleksejs Sirokovs (Kometa Brno, Czech Rep.)
F - Juris Stals (Dinamo Riga, KHL/Metalurgs Liepaja, Belarus)
F - Raimonds Vilkoits (HK Riga, MHL)
D - Janis Andersons (Dinamo Riga, KHL/Metalurgs Liepaja, Belarus)
D - Oskars Cibulskis (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
D - Alberts Ilisko (Nynashamns IF, Swedish Division 1)
D - Martins Jakovlevs (HK Riga, MHL)
D - Maris Jass (Neftekhimik Niznekamsk, KHL) (currently injured)
D - Georgijs Pujacs (Sibir Novosibirsk, KHL)
D - Jekabs Redlihs (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
D - Krisjanis Redlihs (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
D - Arvids Rekis (Dinamo Riga, KHL) (NEW)
D - Kristaps Sotnieks (Dinamo Riga, KHL)
G - Maris Jucers (Metalurgs Liepaja, Belarus)
G - Edgars Masalskis (Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk, KHL)
Our potential defence looks poor unless Skrastins and Kulda comes over to help us out. God, I hope that we don't end up in relegation tournament.
It's absolutely ridiculous that Sprukts is abandoning the team due to being "tired". How can a guy who tried twice to stick in the NHL be tired after a 56 game regular season? Sure they went to round two, but they'll have nearly two month's off once the WC begin. For at team that already only has three natural centers, his decision is just bizarre and selfish.
Sucks that Daugavins is still in the AHL playoffs. He's had a terrific second half of the season and would no doubt continue that in Slovakia. He also has experience playing center, which they'll need thanks to Sprukts. Karsums is still an "if" due to post season surgery, but he's apparently coming along quickly enough to have a shot.
Kulda and Skrastins will be welcome additions to the D. With shaky goaltending, they'll need all the help the can get and two of LV's three NHL d-men certainly help in that regard (yeah, yeah, Kulda only played four games with Atlanta - bite me. The Byfuglien move is the only reason he wasn't there the whole season).
As for goalies, Masalskis is coming off a pretty bad year, although he improved quite a bit in the late stages and playoffs. Raitums just won the Kazakh Championship and seems to finally be done with his battle with the booze, so maybe he can secure that back-up spot. Mustukovs would probably be the better choice, coming off an MVP season in the British Elite league, which saw him post ten shut outs and get some action against the Boston Bruins, but he and coach Znarok don't get along, so that's probably out of the question. Either way, the goaltending will be suspect with the only experienced guy having an off year and the other two doing wonderfully, albeit in ECHL level leagues.
good luck to you guys staying in the elite this year, I hope!
Hopefully Daugaviņš club loses the next two matches so he can come and play and Skrastiņš is suppose to be making his decision this week if he will be playing.
Skrastins has announced that he's not playing, even though he'd like to, apparently because he's not under contract at the moment and doesn't want to risk injury at the Worlds. Makes sense at his age. Sucks for Latvia, but hopefully the young guys will step up.
Karsums still hasn't practiced with the team. His knee is fully healed after post season surgery, but he needs time to re-build the muscles in his leg. World is he'll travel with the team regardless and be added in the second round if he's not good to go at the start.
We'll find out if Daugavins is going in the next couple hours, since Binghamton is playing a 7th deciding game in the AHL playoffs.
EDIT: Bingo won, so no Daugy for the first round.
This will be a tough tournament for us. We lack speed, D and good goaltending (always a backbone of our team).
Aleksejs Širokovs and Alberts Iliško have been cut. I figured Iliško would of been cut but Im starting to really like the play from him. I look forward to seeing how he progresses into next season and would love to see him next year in Euro Challenges next year.
Sandis Ozolins (the team's new G.M, despite still playing in the KHL) just announced the roster for the first round. Despite their hopes, Martins Karsums, who spent time with the Bruins and Lightning, wasn't able to get back into game shape and won't be on the team. One more forward will be cut after today's final exhibition game against Norway (although they'll no doubt be added back for the second round due to their complete lack of depth due to injuries and no-shows). Not at all an ideal line-up, far from it, but they were able to soundly get around Norway with it, so it may be good enough to at least get past Denmark and guarantee a spot in the qualification round, or at the very least avoid relegation if it comes to that.
Edgars Masaļskis (Yugra - KHL)
Mārtiņš Raitums - (Beibarys Atyrau - KAZ)
[Māris Jučers - (Liepajas Metallurgs - BEL)]
Georgijs Pujacs (Sibir Novosibirsk - KHL)
Arvīds Reķis (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Artūrs Kulda (Atlanta Thrashers/Chicago Wolves)
Krišjānis Rēdlihs (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Jēkabs Rēdlihs (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Oskars Cibuļskis (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Kristaps Sotnieks (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Jānis Andersons (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Mārtiņš Cipulis (Amur Khabarovsk - KHL)
Herberts Vasiļjevs (Krefeld Penguins - DEL)
Aleksandrs Ņiživijs (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Miķelis Rēdlihs (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Andris Džeriņš (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Lauris Dārziņš (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Kaspars Saulietis (HPK - SM-liiga)
Ģirts Ankipāns (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Juris Štāls (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Roberts Bukarts (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Gints Meija (Dinamo Riga - KHL)
Roberts Jekimovs (Jokipojat - FIN Mestis)
Sergejs Pečura (Krylia Sovetov - VHL)
Armands Bērziņš (HPK - SM-liiga)
Ronalds Ķēniņš (GC Kusnacht Lions - Swiss NLB)
EDIT: Roberts Jekimovs was released after yesterday's 5-3 win against Norway.
Doesn't look very promising. It will be one-game tournament this year, though I can't see us actually getting relegated if we loose to Denmark.
On defence Latvia will be sorely missing Skrastins, Bartulis and probably also Lavins who is still quite capable.
Goaltending has become a problematic area in the last years with Naumovs retirement. Masalskis is the only proper goalie but is having an off year.
What's up with Guntis Galvins? Not good enough?
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