Thursday, December 22, 2005


Czech Republic Announces Olympic Nominations

The Czech Republic announced their Olympic Hockey Roster nominations earlier today.

Dominik Hašek (Ottawa Senators, 40)
Milan Hnilička (Bílí Tygři Liberec, 32)
Tomáš Vokoun (Nashville Predators, 29)

Pavel Kubina (Tampa Bay Lightning, 28)
Jaroslav Špaček (Chicago Blackhawks, 31)
Marek Židlický (Nashville Predators, 28)
Tomáš Kaberle (Toronto Maple Leafs, 27)
Filip Kuba (Minnesota Wild, 29)
František Kaberle (Carolina Hurricanes, 32)
Marek Malík (New York Rangers, 30)

Jaromír Jágr (New York Rangers, 33)
Robert Lang (Detroit Red Wings, 35)
Petr Průcha (New York Rangers, 23)
Milan Hejduk (Colorado Avalanche, 29)
Václav Prospal (Tampa Bay Lightning, 30)
Martin Ručinský (New York Rangers, 34)
Aleš Hemský (Edmonton Oilers, 22)
David Výborný (Columbus Blue Jackets, 30)
Martin Straka (New York Rangers, 33)
Martin Erat (Nashville Predators, 24)
Petr Čajánek (St. Louis Blues, 30)
Rostislav Olesz (Florida Panthers, 20)
Jan Bulis (Montreal Canadiens, 27)


1. Only a single player (3rd string goalie Milan Hnilicka) on the roster is not in the NHL. This speaks to the number of Czechs in the NHL and the fact that there aren't many very strong players in Europe that could really surpass anyone named to the current roster. Jiri Dopita is old and quite slow these days, and the likes of Martin Prochazka aren't any better than the players named.

2. The one real shock, to me, was the exclusion of Jiri Slegr and the inclusion of Marek Malik. Malik's play was awful in the Czech Extraliga last year and the big ice does not agree with him. While he is a solid NHL defenseman, I feel he'll be a liability for the Czechs if he plays in this tournament. Slegr was the Czech's best defenseman in Nagano and has a lot more experience than Malik and a lot more speed.

3. Two other exclusions will be surprising to some: Radek Dvorak and Roman Hamrlik. I believe Hamrlik basically 'retired' from International play, although I could be wrong. As for Dvorak, if they wanted a speedy, defensive forward, I would have taken Dvorak over Jan Bulis. (Not that Bulis is undeserving)

4. Who starts in goal? Dominik Hasek has returned to form, but Vokoun has played out of his mind and he was great for the Czechs at the World Cup. This will be a tough choice.

5. Martin Havlat, Jiri Fischer, Patrik Elias, and Josef Vasicek were all included due to injury. If Elias recovers in time, he may be put onto the Taxi Squad.

6. The Taxi Squad does not have to be named right away, so we could yet see Dvorak and maybe Elias named to the team at a later date.

In fairness to the Serene Master, I think that the selection committee was looking at him in the context of how he's doing under the new ruleset--and from what I've seen so far he's been doing a hell of a lot better than even I thought he would.
elais had better be added
Considering the fact that he's been out almost the whole season (so far) with Hepatitis (which is very serious, regardless of whether it's A, B, OR C), I don't think that'll be happening.
Hamrlik and Dvorak were left home because they are not 100% ready and Alois Hadamczik dont want to have an injury related problems.
The biggest travesty?

Two words: Ales Kotalik.

16 goals, tied for second among Czech forwards. Yet they took guys like Cajanek, Olesz and Bulis instead???
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