Jaromir Jagr, Ondrej Pavelec named to Czech Olympic team
Czechs look to rebound after 7th place showing in Vancouver
Jaromir Jagr was named to the Czech Republic hockey roster on Monday, which will mark the fifth time the NHL star has represented his country at the Olympics.
Jagr, who will be 42 when the Sochi Games tournament takes place, has put up 13 goals and 21 assists for New Jersey so far this season.
Jagr's Olympic experience dates back to the 1998 Nagano Games, where the Czechs won gold.
Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec and teammate Michael Frolik, were also selected to the squad on Monday, as was Montreal Canadiens stalwart Tomas Plekanec, who was named captain.
The forward corps includes NHL regulars Patrik Elias (New Jersey), Ales Hemsky (Edmonton),Milan Michalek (Ottawa), David Krejci (Boston), and Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia).
Michalek's brother Zbynek is on the blue-line, as are NHL veterans Michal Rozsival, Ladislav Smid and Marek Zidlicky.
Among the notable omissions: forwards Jiri Hudler (Calgary), Radim Vrbata (Phoenix), Martin Erat (Washington), and Jiri Tlusty (Carolina), goalie Michael Neuvirth (Washington) and defenceman Jan Hejda (Colorado). Impressive San Jose rookie Tomas Hertl, meanwhile, was taken out of the mix with a serious knee injury, while his oft-injured teammate Martin Havlat is not on the list.
The 25-man Czech team was announced by coach Alois Hadamczik in Prague.
"We consider this team the best," Hadamczik said.
The roster includes familiar faces to Canadian NHL fans. Tomas Kaberle is back in the Czech Republic after a lengthy NHL career, while former Vancouver Canucks forward Petr Nedved played in the Olympics for Canada way back in 1994.
Roman Cervenka, meanwhile, played for Calgary last season before heading to the KHL.
Since the Olympic tournament has seen full scale NHL participation, the Czechs have won gold (1998) and bronze (2006). Elias, Hemsky, Kaberle, and Zidlicky, along with Jagr, were members of the 2006 team.
The Czech Repuplic lost to Finland 2-0 in the quarter-finals at the 2010 Vancouver Games, finishing seventh overall.
The country has been slotted in Group C at the Sochi tournament, with first round games against Latvia, Sweden and Switzerland.
The full Olympic roster, comprised of players from the NHL, KHL and the Czech Extraliga:
- Jakub Kovar, 25, G, Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (KHL)
- Ondrej Pavelec, 26, G, Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
- Alexander Salak, 27, G, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
- Michal Barinka, 29, D, Vitkovice Ostrava (CZE)
- Radko Gudas, 23 D, Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
- Tomas Kaberle, 35, D, Kladno (CZE)
- Jakub Kindl, 26, D, Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
- Lukas Krajicek, 30, D, Dinamo Minsk (KHL)
- Zbynek Michalek, 31, D, Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
- Michal Rozsival, 35, D, Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
- Ladislav Smid, 27, D, Calgary Flames (NHL)
- Marek Zidlicky, 36, D, New Jersey Devils (NHL)
- Roman Cervenka, 28, F, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
- Patrik Elias, 37, F, New Jersey Devils (NHL)
- Michael Frolik, 25, F, Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
- Martin Hanzal, 26, F, Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
- Ales Hemsky, 30, F, Edmonton Oilers (NHL)
- Jaromir Jagr, 41, F, New Jersey Devils (NHL)
- David Krejci, 27, F, Boston Bruins (NHL)
- Milan Michalek, 29, F, Ottawa Senators (NHL)
- Petr Nedved, 42, F, Bili Tygri Liberec (CZE)
- Jiri Novotny, 30, F, Lev Prague (KHL)
- Ondrej Palat, 22, F, Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
- Jakub Petruzalek, 28, F, Amur Khabarovsk (KHL)
- Tomas Plekanec, 31, F, Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
- Vladimir Sobotka, 26, F, St. Louis Blues (NHL)
- Jakub Voracek, 24, F, Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
--With files from The Associated Press