2014 Winter Olympics: Which Nashville Predators Will Go to Sochi?

Road Trip! - Bruce Bennett

Will we see a Nashville Predator win a gold medal this February?

With the National Hockey League, the Players' Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation finally hammering out a deal for the NHL's participation in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, we can look ahead to another great hockey tournament this February (from the 12th to the 23rd), which should once again feature a number of Nashville Predators in prominent roles.

Recall that during the 2010 games in Vancouver, Ryan Suter & Shea Weber led the USA & Canada into the gold medal game, an event which drew incredible TV ratings, making it the most-watched hockey game since the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. Back then, the Preds sent six players to the Olympics, so which ones are likely to take the ice in Sochi this time around?

The groupings for the initial round of games are as follows:

Group A Group B Group C
Russia Finland Czech Republic
Slovakia Canada Sweden
USA Norway Switzerland
Slovenia Austria Latvia

United States

Having David Poile as general manager of Team USA should mean a Pred or two might have the inside track for a roster spot, right? Well, probably not, unless the plan includes a specialist faceoff winner & penalty killer, in which case Paul Gaustad could conceivably get the nod. Given the "build a complete team, not just a collection of stars" mentality which makes Poile so well-suited for this job, it's not entirely out of the question.


Paul Gaustad

#28 / Center / Nashville Predators

6-5

223

Feb 03, 1982


Yes, I know Craig Smith has had good runs at the World Championships, but he has no realistic shot at making the Olympic roster, which is drawn from the NHL's best, not just those who are out of the playoffs.

Canada

Shea Weber is a lock for a prime job with the flying syrup chuggers from the Great White North, and will surely be motivated to add a second gold medal to his trophy collection. In 2010 he was named to the media's All-Star team from the Olympic tournament, as he soaked up major ice time for Canada and ripped a puck through the net against Germany, the stuff of which legends are made:



Shea Weber

#6 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators

6-4

233

Aug 14, 1985

Sweden

Patric Hornqvist should be right in the mix Team Sweden, which should once again be a serious contender for gold. Depending on how things work out both in terms of personal play and injuries to others, Viktor Stalberg could work his way into the mix as well, but he'd be considered a longshot at this point.


Patric Hornqvist

#27 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators

5-11

189

Jan 01, 1987


Hornqvist scored one goal for the Swedes in 2010.

Finland

The world is suddenly awash in excellent Finnish goaltenders, with Tuuka Rask dominating for Boston and Antti Niemi having been a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. Toss in Nicklas Backstrom and Kari Lehtonen, and while Rinne looks to be a favorite to represent his country in Sochi, it is by no means certain.


Pekka Rinne

#35 / Goalie / Nashville Predators

6-5

204

Nov 03, 1982

Switzerland

Roman Josi will be the star of the Swiss team, which should be an interesting one to follow in the opening round, as they are in a group with Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Latvia.


Roman Josi

#59 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators

6-1

192

Jun 01, 1990


Who else might possibly boost their stock enough over the next few months to earn a trip to Russia for their shot at an Olympic medal? Does Colin Wilson step up his game and establish himself as a consistent power forward, for example?

More from On the Forecheck:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker