Looking at the speculation and the roster here are the 12 players who may make Olympic rosters for the Preds.
Martin Erat (Czech Republic), Marcel Goc (Germany), Patric Hornqvist (Sweden), Ryan Suter (USA), Shea Weber (Canada), Dan Hamhuis (Canada), Alex Sulzer (Germany), Pekka Rinne (Finland)
Alex Radulov (Russia), Antti Pihlstrom (Finland), Robert Dietrich (Germany), Roman Josi (Switzerland)
The Preds Property I'm not too concerned about but looking at the guys who are on the roster the defense will take a hit depending on if you believe the team needs rest or might rust up. Hamhuis, Hornqvist, and Rinne and possibly Erat are on the bubble to make their team's rosters. Either way, the defense for the Preds will be prominate on the world stage. Part of me would like to see Rinne and Hamhuis NOT make their teams because I want them rested up, especially since after the games Weber and Suter's minutes should go down for a little bit to rest them up.
Rinne might not get much playing time since he is fighting; Nik Backstrom, Mikka Kiprusoff, and Kari Lehtonen for a roster spot. Hamhuis and Hornqvist are long shots because of the depth of position for their home countries. Which is fine in my book since Suter and Weber are going to be locks for Canada and USA and you can use the Klein-Bouillon, Hamhuis-Franson pairings to rest up Weber and Suter. If Rinne becomes the starter you can see Ellis back him up for a couple of games. Erat has been hot but he might be the only scoring forward to play in the games.
Last Hockey game in Vancouver is Feb. 28th and the first Preds game back will be the 2nd of March. 3 days of lapsed time between games. Then games on the 4th and 5th. Big ones too, Oilers, Kings, and at Wings.
There is a chance that Sulzer may not make Germany. Although he is good enough to and definately in their top 4 defenceman, theres a chance that he could not make it this year due to a lack of ice time. Krupp said that just because a guy is on an NHL roster doesn't guarantee him a spot, especially if he isn't getting much playing time. Either way he should be on that team logging 20 or so minutes per game, but we will see.
I also think that there is no way that Hamhuis will make Canada, their line up is way to stacked for a guy like him. Hornqvist may not make Sweden either, but he could play a checking line roll on the team.
Martin Erat (Czech Republic) - His recent outburst makes him a lock
Marcel Goc (Germany) - Will be there, Germany have no depth at center beyond him and Hecht.
Patric Hornqvist (Sweden) - He's on the fringe. He might make the team as an extra forward.
Ryan Suter (USA) - He'll be there.
Shea Weber (Canada) - He'll be there.
Dan Hamhuis (Canada) - I'd say his chances are infinitesimal.
Alex Sulzer (Germany) - I would imagine he's penciled in already.
Pekka Rinne (Finland) - If the Finns carry three goalies, he'll be there, but he won't start. He may not even play.
Alex Radulov (Russia) - He's a lock.
Antti Pihlstrom (Finland) - Absolutely no chance unless the bulk of Finland's eligible forwards incur season-ending injuries within the next two months.
Robert Dietrich (Germany) - He might get there, but I'm not sure they won't go with a more veteran player.
Roman Josi (Switzerland) - He's one of the best defensemen in Switzerland right now. If he's healthy, there's no way he doesn't play.
I think the effect of the extra games in Olympic years gets overblown. Seven extra games shouldn't be a big deal for these guys, especially the guys that are younger or at their physical peaks, like Suter, Weber, etc.. The only problem is the risk of injury, but it's not like that risk is magnified because it's the Olympics.
IMO, I think having alot of our "non-star" players in the Olympics could be beneficial to their development. Guys like Goc, Sulzer, etc. There is always the risk of injury, but having them play against the best in the world, with different teammates, coaches and style of play could be very beneficial and outway that risk. It gives those guys world class experience, the opportunity to challenge themselves, have fun and come back with a fresh mindset. I'd rather play seven games, keeping me in game shape and be a bit tired ,then practicing without the whole team and feeling like I was on Olympic break. It may also boost some of our younger guys' confidence by making their countries team.
I was really hoping Hornqvist would get named and was happy to see his name indeed called this morning. Patric was the player I thought could really get the biggest boost from being named to his country's Olympic team.
Now keeping my fingers crossed to see if Krupp names Sulzer to Team Germany...
I'm just wondering if we can send a note to Weber asking him to fire slappers at the ankles of players who play in the central? Seriously, I think this would be highly benificial to the Preds if Weber get's a note saying open season no bag limit on opposing Central players.
Goc and Sulzer have made it on the 23-men roster, though it's far from final.
Germany has announced 35 players who are on the roster. Changes to the list of 35 can be made until around the 20th of January. Afterwards those 35 are set, and 23 players have to be chosen by the start of the tournament. Right now there is a list of 23 players who are ahead of the rest, with another 12 to fill out the list of 35.
While Sulzer and Goc are on the 23-men roster, Dietrich hasn't even made the 35-men list.
Krupp went a bit nuts with his decisions. Jochen Hecht and Christoph Schubert are only replacements, which is as big of a joke as it gets. Why would anyone take players who are hardly average in the DEL ahead of players who have played quite well in the NHL?