The Philadelphia Flyers already knew they had one guy going to the Olympics. Michael Raffl was named to the Austrian team last week. In a country in which there are only a small handful of NHL players, like Austria, it was a safe bet to assume that Raffl was a lock. Today the Flyers got word on two more Olympians. Mark Streit will represent Switzerland and Jakub Voracek will represent the Czech Republc.
Streit was likely a lock to be on the team from day one. Switzerland is not like the USA and Canada. There are enough high end NHL players to stack both of those squads. Streit was one of eight NHL players named to the Swiss team. He will join defensemen Roman Josi (Predators), Raphael Diaz (Canadiens), and Yannick Weber (Canucks) on what should be a decent blue line. His recent upsurge in offensive production should bode well for the Swiss squad in the Olypmics. Having been the captain of the Islanders, and wearing an ‘A’ in Philadelphia upon Scott Hartnell’s injury, Streit will be called upon to be a leader in the locker room and will likely wear a letter. He captained the 2010 Swiss Olympic team.
Voracek was a lock for the Czech team all along. He will be one of the most skilled players on the Czech roster and should provide the team with plenty of goals. Other notables on the Czech squad are David Krejci (Bruins), Patrik Elias (Devils), Zbynek Michalek (Senators), and Petr Nedved (retired, 42 years old). What is even more exciting about the Czech team is that Jaromir Jagr made his fifth Olympic team. What Jagr did for the development of Giroux and Voracek during the 2011-2012 season was immeasurable. Flyers fans can only hope that Jagr continues to mentor Vorcaek and make him into an even better player.
Both Voracek and Streit have good enough speed to be effective on the large ice surface and should be fun to watch. Congratulations to both players.
Tomorrow all countries who have not announced their roster will make the announcement. Most notably, Team Canada will have to pick from a long list of stars. Although there was talk earlier into the season that Giroux was on the bubble, he has once again become a virtual lock. If he is snubbed, it will be more controversial that Bobby Ryan, and there may be riots in Philadelphia.