AHL Press Release: 149 former AHL players playing in Olympics
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … With the 2014 Olympic Winter Games just over a month away, 149 former and current American Hockey League players have been selected to represent their countries in Sochi, Russia. The 25-man rosters of all 12 teams in the men’s ice hockey tournament, which begins Feb. 12, have been announced.
The United States boasts a tournament-high 18 AHL graduates, while Canada’s roster includes 17 AHL alumni. The Czech Republic, Finland and Slovakia also show 17 graduates each, followed by Sweden (13), Latvia (12), Switzerland (12), Russia (nine), Austria (eight), Norway (seven) and Slovenia (two). The complete list of alumni follows this release.
A total of 33 former AHL All-Stars have been named to Olympic rosters, including Ryan Callahan, Dustin Brown, John Carlson, Zach Parise, Ryan Kesler, Jimmy Howard and Ryan Miller from Team USA and P.K. Subban,Chris Kunitz, Patrice Bergeron, Jay Bouwmeester and Patrick Sharp for Canada. Tomas Plekanec and Patrik Elias(Czech Republic); Mikko Koivu and Tuukka Rask (Finland); Mats Zuccarello (Norway); Artem Anisimov and Slava Voynov (Russia); Zdeno Chara and Jaroslav Halak (Slovakia); Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson (Sweden); and Nino Niederreiter (Switzerland) were also All-Stars during their AHL careers.
Thirteen former Calder Cup champions are headed to Sochi, including playoff MVP’s Tomas Tatar (Slovakia, 2013) and Carey Price (Canada, 2007). Tomas Jurco (Slovakia, 2013), Radko Gudas (Czech Republic), Ondrej Palat (Czech Republic), Richard Panik (Slovakia), Kaspars Daugavins (Latvia), Roman Wick (Switzerland), John Carlson (United States), Ondrej Pavelec (Czech Republic), Sami Lepisto (Finland), Patrick Sharp (Canada) and Jeff Carter (Canada) are also former league champions in the AHL.
Among the 149 alumni are nine players who have skated in the American Hockey League this season: Finnish defenseman and 2013 First Team AHL All-Star Sami Vatanen (Norfolk); Austrian forward Michael Raffl(Adirondack); Slovak forward Tomas Jurco (Grand Rapids) and defenseman Martin Marincin (Oklahoma City); Swiss goaltender Reto Berra (Abbotsford), defenseman Yannick Weber (Utica) and forward Simon Moser(Milwaukee); Latvian goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis (Syracuse); and Norwegian defenseman Henrik Odegaard(Chicago).
AHL experience will be found behind Olympic benches as well. Peter Laviolette, who won a Calder Cup as head coach of the Providence Bruins in 1999, and Todd Richards, who coached the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a berth in the Finals in 2008, will serve as assistants under former AHL player and coach Dan Bylsma for the United States. Former AHL head coach Mike Babcock will guide Canada’s Olympic team, assisted by 2003 AHL coach of the year Claude Julien and former AHL player Lindy Ruff.
Other notable AHL alumni at the 2014 Olympics will include standouts such as Thomas Vanek (Austria), Roberto Luongo (Canada), David Krejci (Czech Republic), Antti Niemi (Finland), Fedor Tyutin (Russia), Erik Karlsson(Sweden), Mark Streit (Switzerland), 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick (United States) and 2011 NHL MVP Corey Perry (Canada). In addition, AHL linesmen Chris Carlson, Tommy George, Jesse Wilmot and Chris Woodworth have been selected to officiate in Sochi.