Prague - Tomas Plekanec (Montreal) will be the captain of the Czech ice hockey team at the Sochi Olympic tournament and two other experienced NHL forwards, Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias (both New Jersey), will be his assistants, the team´s coach Alois Hadamczik announced today.
MS v ledním hokeji 2011, utkání o 3. místo Česká republika - Rusko, 15. května v Bratislavě. Zleva Tomáš Plekanec (CZE), Marek Židlický (CZE) a Jaromír Jágr (CZE) čekají na slavnostní ceremoniál. ČTK ČTK
"I had no dilemma... He (Plekanec) has all he needs to be respected by the players," Hadamczik said about the choice of captain.
For the legendary Jagr, 41, Sochi will be the fifth Olympics at which he will play. He was the member of the Czech team that won the tournament at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games.
However, Jagr is not the oldest member of the team. Forward Petr Nedved is 42 years old. Nedved played the Olympic tournament already once before, 20 years ago, but he represented Canada then, helping his team beat the Czechs in the quarterfinal.
Nedved is one of the three players from the Czech league in the 25-member team nominated for the Olympic tournament that starts on February 12. The Czechs will play against the Swedes on the very first day. The two other teams in Group C are Latvia and Switzerland.
Seventeen players are from the American-Canadian NHL and five are from the KHL based in Russia. New Jersey Devils is the only club that has three players in the team.
The team includes three newcomers - defender Radko Gudas and forwards Ondrej Palat and Vladimir Sobotka.
Some of the Czech elite NHL players will not play in Sochi, such as Jiri Hudler, Radim Vrbata, Roman Polak, Jan Hejda and Tomas Hertl who got injured.
Roster for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic ice hockey tournament:
Goaltenders: Ondrej Pavelec (Winnipeg Jets/NHL), Jakub Kovar (Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg/KHL), Alexander Salak (SKA St Petersburg/KHL).
Defenders: Radko Gudas (Tampa Bay Lightning/NHL), Zbynek Michalek (Phoenix Coyotes/NHL), Michal Rozsival (Chicago Blackhawks/NHL), Ladislav Smid (Calgary Flames/NHL), Marek Zidlicky (New Jersey Devils/NHL), Michal Barinka (HC Vitkovice Steel/Czech), Tomas Kaberle (Rytiri Kladno/Czech), Lukas Krajicek (Dinamo Minsk/KHL).
Forwards: Patrik Elias, Jaromir Jagr (both New Jersey Devils/NHL), Michael Frolik (Winnipeg Jets/NHL), Martin Hanzal (Phoenix Coyotes/NHL), Ales Hemsky (Edmonton Oilers/NHL), David Krejci (Boston Bruins/NHL), Milan Michalek (Ottawa Senators/NHL), Ondrej Palat (Tampa Bay Lightning/NHL), Tomas Plekanec (Montreal Canadiens/NHL), Vladimir Sobotka (St. Louis Blues/NHL), Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia Flyers/NHL), Roman Cervenka (SKA St Petersburg/KHL), Petr Nedved (Bili Tygri Liberec/Czech), Jiri Novotny (HC Lev Praha/KHL).