The Beijing Winter Olympics are fast approaching in February, and the buzz around who may or may not be selected for their country’s national team has already begun. Rudolfs Balcers is a lock for Latvia, and Timo Meier for Switzerland, but there’s plenty of top-end talent to choose from when it comes to the North American national teams.
In my heart, Jonathan Dahlen and Erik Karlsson make Sweden’s roster (the Swedish scout has been in attendance for at least one San Jose Sharks game), but part of the fun of the Olympics is speculating who will be called up to represent their country.
With COVID cases rising, the ever-present risk of injury and the NHL already falling behind schedule with postponed games, it’s still possible that the league changes their mind and forbids players from participating in the Olympics.
In fact, the NHL’s Board of Governors met on Dec. 9 and 10 to discuss NHL participation in the Olympics, among other docket items. For now, the league is still allowing players to report to their national teams, which means it’s the perfect time to flex my intuition and give my ideal rosters for the USA and Canada.
Kyle Connor — Auston Matthews* — Blake Wheeler
Brady Tkachuk — Patrick Kane* — T.J. Oshie
Jason Robertson — Vincent Trochek — Matthew Tkachuk
Anders Lee — Jack Eichel — Joe Pavelski
Seth Jones* — Adam Fox
Jaccob Slavin — Brett Pesce
Charlie McAvoy — Alec Martinez
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Connor McDavid* — Mitch Marner
Jonathan Huberdeau — Sidney Crosby* — Nate Mackinnon
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Mark Stone
Zach Hyman — Steven Stamkos — Brendan Gallagher
Cale Makar — Alex Pietrangelo*
Mackenzie Weegar — Shea Theodore
Mario Ferraro — Dougie Hamilton
*denotes confirmed players
Let us know in the comments what your Olympic roster projections are (and which Sharks players are on your teams).
News & Notes
- Weekend Takeaways: Thriving California NHL teams have fans dreaming again [Sportsnet]
- San Jose Sharks winger remains out with upper body injury [The Mercury News]
- Sorry, Sharks fans. Joe Pavelski wants to remain with the Dallas Stars [The Mercury News]
Blood in the Water
- NHLPA says lack of clarity about COVID-19 protocols has players uncertain about participating in Winter Olympics [ESPN]
- Updated picks for Team USA’s Men’s hockey roster 2 months from the Olympics [Bleacher Report]
- 2022 Winter Olympics: projecting Canada’s Men’s hockey roster in Beijing [NBC5 Chicago]
- COVID-19 looms large over sporting world as NHL goes dark after Flames outbreak [Sportsnet]
- Detroit Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi: ‘Sucks missing games’ but still won’t get COVID-19 vaccine [USA Today]
- Report: Multiple women being considered for vacant Canadiens GM job [Yahoo Sports]
- Dallas Stars waive struggling veteran goalie Anton Khudobin [ESPN]
Scores & Recaps
No NHL games were scheduled for Dec. 13.
On the Schedule
- Vegas Golden Knights at Boston Bruins, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on SNP, NESN, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+
- Los Angeles Kings at Tampa Bay Lightning, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on BSSUN, BSW, ESPN+
- Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on BSFL, TSN5, RDS2, ESPN+
- New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on NBCSP, MSG, ESPN+
- Montreal Canadiens at Pittsburgh Penguins, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on ATTSN-PT, TSN2, RDS, ESPN+
- New York Islanders at Detroit Red Wings, 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET on BSDET, MSG+, ESPN+
- Carolina Hurricanes at Minnesota Wild, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on ESPN+, HULU
- Buffalo Sabres at Winnipeg Jets, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on TSN3, MSG-B, ESPN+
- St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars, 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET on BSSW, BSMW, ESPN+
- New York Rangers at Colorado Avalanche, 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET on ESPN+, HULU
- Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers, 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET on SNW, TSN4, ESPN+
- Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks, 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on SNP, BSOH, ESPN+
- Seattle Kraken at San Jose Sharks, 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSCA, ROOT-NW, ESPN+