Zdeno Chara leads veteran-laden Slovak Olympic hockey team
Nation has never finished better than 4th
Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara will captain Slovakia at the Sochi Games next month, hoping to improve on fourth place at the Vancouver Olympics.
Other major Slovak stars, including Chicago Blackhawks forwards Michal Handzus and Marian Hossa and St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak are also on the 25-man squad that coach Vladimir Vujtek announced on Tuesday.
Defencemen Lubomir Visnovsky of the New York Islanders and Michal Sersen of HC Slovan Bratislava together with forward Marian Gaborik of the Columbus Blue Jackets made the team although they are still injured. Slovakia starts the Olympic tournament on Feb. 13 against the United States before facing Slovenia and Russia in Group A.
Since the breakup of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia has yet to win a medal in Olympic men's hockey. In Vancouver in 2010, Slovakia surprised by placing fourth, its highest finish in Olympic ice hockey.
Slovakian Olympic hockey team
- Peter Budaj, 31, G, Montreal Canadiens
- Jaroslav Halak, 28, G, St. Louis Blues
- Jan Laco, 32, G, Donbass Donetsk (KHL)
- Zdeno Chara, 36, D, Boston Bruins
- Ivan Baranka, Avangard Omsk
- Dominik Granak, 30, D, Moscow Dynamo (KHL)
- Martin Marincin, 21, D, Edmonton Oilers
- Andrej Meszaros, 28, D, Philadelphia Flyers
- Michal Sersen, 28, D, Bratislava Slovan (KHL)
- Andrej Sekera, 27, D, Carolina Hurricanes
- Lubomir Visnovsky, 37, D, New York Islanders
- Milan Bartovic, 32, F, Bratislava Slovan (KHL)
- Marian Gaborik, 31, F, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Michal Handzus, 36, F, Chicago Blackhawks
- Marcel Hossa, 32, F, Riga Dynamo (KHL)
- Marian Hossa, F, Chicago Blackhawks
- Tomas Jurco, 21, F, Detroit Red Wings
- Tomas Kopecky, 31, F, Florida Panthers
- Tomas Marcinko, 25, F, HC Kosice (SVK)
- Michel Miklik, 31, F, Bratislava Slovan (KHL)
- Peter Olvecky, Bratislava Slovan (KHL)
- Richard Panik, 22, F, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Tomas Surovy, 32, D, Dynamo Minsk (KHL)
- Tomas Tatar, 23, F, Detroit Red Wings
- Tomas Zaborsky, 26, F, Ufa Salavat Yulayev (KHL)
With files from CBCSports.ca