By Mike Harrington
There's been a slew of Olympic team announcements this morning, and the major one that has social media abuzz and our friends north of the border in a complete tizzy is the big reveal of Team Canada that comes at 11 a.m.
No Sabres are in line for a berth with Team Canada but several current and former Buffalo players have taken their spots for Sochi today.
The most recent announcement just in from Sweden is that Jhonas Enroth and Henrik Tallinder have been named to their country's team. Tallinder also played for Sweden in 2010. Enroth joins Detroit's Jonas Gustavsson in backing up Henrik Lundqvist, while Ottawa's Robin Lehner was a surprise omission. Enroth's gold-medal performance in last year's World Championships clearly helped his case.
(Enroth told me yesterday he was quite nervous about getting the call, so it has to be a big relief)
Elsewhere, three as-expected spots were made official today: Sabres rookie Zemgus Girgensons has been named to Ted Nolan's Latvian team while Thomas Vanek (Austria) and Andrej Sekera (Slovakia) were named to their clubs, where they're both expected to be key players.
Girgensons, who turned 20 yesterday, is the only current NHL player on Team Latvia. Its roster also includes 41-year-old defenseman Sandis Ozolish, a Stanley Cup winner with Colorado who has not played in the NHL since 2008.
Vanek has been red-hot of late for the Islanders, with five goals and nine assists in his last nine games. He did this conversation with NHL.com that was released today. In 28 games with the Islanders since the October trade from Buffalo, Vanek has 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists).
Sekera, a stalwart on the Carolina defense with Team USA selection Justin Faulk, enters tonight's scheduled game against the Sabres second on the Hurricanes in assists (17) and third in points (24). He already has seven goals after never scoring more than four in a season for the Sabres and his 24 points are just five off his career high.
Former Sabre forward Jiri Novotny, the team’s No. 1 draft pick in 2001, was named to the Czech team Monday. Milan Bartovic, a second-rounder in 1999, will play for Slovakia. Both are currently playing in the KHL.
(And of course, there's Ryan Miller with Team USA that was announced last week).
taggedex-Sabres | Henrik Tallinder | Jhonas Enroth | Olympics | Sabres | Zemgus Girgensons