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Hossa, Chara will lead Team Slovakia

Jan 7, 2014, 9:11 AM EDT

ZdenoChara Getty Images

Slovakia isn’t a favorite to go far in the 2014 Winter Olympics, but they shouldn’t be overlooked either. They released its Olympic roster today and it features no shortage of NHL talent.

Perhaps the country’s biggest road block though will be the health of the team. They’re hoping that both Marian Gaborik (broken collarbone) and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) will be available for the Games.

If they aren’t, then it will just put even more pressure on Chicago’s Marian Hossa and Boston’s Zdeno Chara to lead the charge.

Between the pipes, Slovakia will likely use Jaroslav Halak as its starting goaltender. Halak served in that capacity in 2010 and played a key role in the country’s 2-1 shootout victory over Russia in the Preliminary round.

As for notable omissions…well, there weren’t any. All 14 Slovak NHLers made the team.

Here’s the roster in full:

Goaltenders: Peter Budaj, Jaroslav Halak, Jan Laco

Defensemen: Ivan Baranka, Dominik Granak, Zdeno Chara, Martin Marincin, Andrej Meszaros, Andrej Sekera, Michal Sersen, Lubomir Visnovsky

Forwards: Milan Bartovic, Marian Gaborik, Michal Handzus, Marcel Hossa, Marian Hossa, Tomas Jurco, Tomas Kopecky, Tomas Marcinko, Michel Miklik, Peter Ölvecky, Richard Panik, Tomas Surovy, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Zaborsky

UPDATE: Slovakia has had no luck since announcing their roster. They won’t have Michal Sersen, Dominik Granak, Marian Gaborik, and Lubomir Visnovsky. In their place are defensemen Milan Jurcina, Tomas Starosta, and Rene Vydareny as well as forward Branko Radivojevic.

  1. montrealbbr - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Good luck getting out of the first round.

    • charastein - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      And you have good luck avoiding the stanchions and not crying when big daddy Charastein comes looking for you!

      Silly Smurfs.

      • hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        A bigger ice surface will expose Chara’s slothlike movements. He’ll BE a human stanchion.

      • charastein - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:38 AM

        You are all so petty…and tiny!

    • drewzducks - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      They should be fine. Not like they have to face Ottawa in round 1.

    • paul621 - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      Technically, everyone automatically makes it out of the first round.

  2. lowenni - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Halak is really the x-factor here. If he can play like he did in the 2010 playoffs, they could surprise some people. If not, I don’t think they have the speed and won’t score enough goals to go far.

  3. runhigh24 - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    From a hockey perspective its too bad the Czech’s and the Slovaks aren’t one country still. That could be an entertaining and competitive team.

    • 19to77 - Jan 12, 2014 at 1:41 AM

      God, that would actually be scary. Few real weaknesses. Great defensive lines with guys like Hanzal, Frolik and Handzus, great offense from names like Hossa, Elias, Jagr, Krejci and Gaborik, and solid goaltending from Halak. Defense would be a touch thin after Chara, but great power play distributors in Visnovsky and Zidlicky. I almost wish this was a real team, just to see it play.

  4. bruinsfan55 - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Will Gaborik be healthy in time for the Olympics?

    • hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      Might want to read the article.

  5. micasa81 - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Assuming Gaborik and Visnovsky get healthy (and also that the non-NHL guys are the calibre of typical AHL-ers – I confess ignorance there), they have a roster that is near the quality of an NHL team. Not likely to medal, but certainly good enough to pull off a big upset.

  6. dan46778 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Wish chara told them no but that is coming a bruins fan bc I want him with gas in the tank at playoff time

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