It was announced less than a week ago that NHL players will be heading to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February, and six Montreal Canadiens have already been invited to tryout camps.
Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk will be on the short list of Americans waiting for an invitation to the games, while Andrei Markov, and Alexei Emelin will be heading to the host nation’s camp and P.K. Subban will head to Canada’s camp with Carey Price.
Aside from those already invited to camps, Tomas Plekanec, Raphael Diaz and Peter Budaj are all but locks to play in the Olympics. Plekanec is set to join a deep, yet unspectacular Czech Republic team, of which he will battle Boston Bruins center David Krecji for top line minutes. Diaz will play for an underdog Switzerland nation, and Budaj will battle for playing time as a Slovakian netminder.
Galchenyuk is currently a longshot to join a deep American team, but will be able to secure his roster spot if he begins the season on fire. Pacioretty on the other hans, is nearly a lock to play on the United States entry. His size, skill and scoring ability will make him extremely hard to pass on for the American management team.
The pair of Russian defenders both have a great chance to suit up for their home nation next winter, Markov would be Russia’s top defenceman, and Emelin, if healthy, would provide them with a hard hitting defensive presence.
As for Team Canada, Carey Price makes as good a case as anyone to be the starting goalie for Canada. Subban is fresh off a Norris Trophy campaign as the NHL’s best defenseman, and will be given strong consideration to join Canada at the games in February. The fact he is not a sure thing at this point has a lot more to do with Canada’s great defender than is does with Subban’s ability to play the position.
So, no matter the country you hail from, be it the United States, Canada, Czech Republic or Switzerland, if you are a Canadiens fan, you will have plenty to cheer for during the NHL Olympic break in February.