The Czech Republic comes into 2010 Olympics ranked 6th by the IIHF. They havent medalled in a World Championship in 3 years, finishing no higher than 5th in that time. Their 6th ranking is the lowest they have had in many years.
Dont count this jekyl & hyde team out though, its still loaded with stud star players. The team is ripe with all-stars & hall of fame calibur players.
Tomas Vokoun- FLORIDA PANTHERS (NHL) Whether Dominik Hasek can go or not, Vokoun is likely the starter.
Dominik Hasek- PARDUBICE HC (CZECH). When unarguably one of the best goalies in the history of the game says he wants in, you dont argue much with him being there. Even if there are multiple obstacles, most notably, an injury that has seen him only play 3 games this season. If he can go, he is there. If not, the back up will be Pavelec & the 3rd string will likely be young Michael Neuvirth.
Ondrej Pavelec- ATLANTA THRASHERS (NHL) If Dom cant go, he is the uncontested back up.
Tomas Kaberle- TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (NHL) Clearly far & away the top defenseman from the Czech team. Tomas will be expected to play heavy minutes against the top units of the opposition.
Marek Zidlicky- MINNESOTA WILD (NHL) A power play specialist, Marek will log lots of PP time & likely #2 unit ES minutes.
Pavel Kubina- ATLANTA THRASHERS (NHL) This 6'4 rock will take a lot of the checking duties & will likely play with Zidkicky who is a bit less defensive minded.
Roman Hamrlik- MONTREAL CANADIENS (NHL) Another PP specialist, with a strong shot. Roman will log lots of PP mins, but has a defensive skill set as well which will make him usable in all situations.
Ladislav Smid- EDMONTON OILERS (NHL) A solid +13 this season, and some offensive skills will make him a usable piece in all situations.
Jaroslav Spacek- MONTREAL CANADIENS (NHL) 700 NHL games & a strong season this year at both ends of the ice are hard to ignore. Should be on this team.
Karel Rachunek- MOSCOW DYNAMO (KHL) The best of the European based dmen should make this team. What capacity is not entirely sure.
Martin Havlat- MINNESOTA WILD (NHL) Having a slow year offensively adjusting to the Wild system of play. Still expected to be a top unit contributor though.
Patrik Elias- NEW JERSEY DEVILS (NHL) Since returning from injury, he has shown flashes of his old self. Minus a small 3 game blip a couple weeks ago, Hes scored pts in 10 of 11 games.
Milan Hejduk- COLORADO AVALANCHE (NHL) Will be expected to score goals, and likely will fill that role.
Vaclav Prospal- NEW YORK RANGERS (NHL) The Rangers have been lucky enough to catch Prospal on an even numbered season. The epitome of Jekyl & Hyde is doing it again this season, having a stellar year after a letdown one last season. The Czechs must be thrilled the Olympics are this year for this reason.
Jaromir Jagr- OMSK AVANGARD (KHL). Like Hasek, he is there simply by default. But he has done well in the KHL to validate his spot. The all time leading scorer amongst Czech players in the NHL will only really need to think about whether he is on the top line, or 2nd line.
Tomas Plekanec- MONTREAL CANADIENS (NHL) The top scoring Czech in the NHL is a lock for the team, just what line will he play?
Tomas Fleischmann- WASHINGTON CAPITALS (NHL) Yes I know. Anyone could score with Semin, backstrom, Greene or Ovechkin helping them. But dont be fooled, he showed these skills even in the AHL where none of them were there to help him.
Martin Erat- NASHVILLE PREDATORS (NHL) A few weeks ago I doubted his spot on the team, but hes strengtehned his offensive game lately & now I see him as a probable top 2-3 line guy.
Milan Michalek- OTTAWA SENATORS (NHL) A slow Decemeber has dropped his stock some, but hes still expected to be on the 2nd line, or 3rd line.
Jiri Hudler- MOSCOW DYNAMO (KHL) Forget Jagr, Jiri Hudler is the top scoring Czech in Russia this year. He'll be used in offensive situations certainly, but in probably will be 2nd or 3rd line mostly.
Petr Sykora- MINNESOTA WILD (NHL) if he is back from his concussion by then, he'll make the team.
Roman Cervenka- SLAVIA PRAHA HC (CZECH) The runaway scoring leader of the Czech league will probably be on this team. Will he be used in an offensive spot is still to be determined. Too many offensive weapons, not enough spots. But he'll still be here for no other reason but to reward his great play this year in the Czech Republic.
David Krejci- BOSTON BRUINS (NHL) After last seasons superb campaign, there were high hopes for David this year. he hasnt met them YET, but shows flashes of last years skills. He'll be here solely based on what he showed last year.
Radim Vrbata- PHOENIX COYOTES (NHL) Has offensive skills, but will be expected to play generally a checking role here.
maybes- Michael Neuvirth, Zbenek Michalek, Ales Kotalik, Jakub Voracek, Robert Lang, Michal Frolik.
I have enjoyed going for the Avs for a long time. The Joe Sakic effect helped, as well, they often had more class players than ass players. This years roster was more or less the same.
CRAIG ANDERSON- 4 autographs. He actually looked put out to be signing, but still did multiple items without saying anything about it.
PETER BUDAJ- 1 autograph. An often Jekyle & Hyde signer, was more on the unwilling than willing side this trip, but still did sign on more than 1 occasion.
JOHN MICHAEL LILES- 3 autographs. Always a great signer, still a class act.
BRETT CLARK- 5 autographs. Except the 1 time where he was with Budaj who seemed uninterested in signing at the time, Brett was an accomodating signer.
KYLE QUINCEY- 3 autographs. Being one of the several new faces on this team since last time I had gone for them. It took me a while to get him because I was having trouble IDing him. Once I did though, he did everything.
SCOTT HANNAN- 3 autographs. Scott has always shown a level of unhappiness with signing, but he still does it.
ADAM FOOTE- 4 autographs. Back when he would hang out with Patrick Roy I actually thought he was a dick. Turns out it was just the people he was hanging with. He has been nothing but class since breaking away from one of the sports least classy guys.
RYAN WILSON- 2 autographs. Had no problem asking him for a 2nd item.
KYLE CUMISKEY- 2 autographs. Was willing to sign multiples.
RUSLAN SALEI & TOM PREISSING- no reports
PAUL STASTNY- 4 autographs. Was a consistent 1 per person each time you saw him. Dont try to loop him, or he stops signing all together.
MATT DUCHENE- 7 autographs. I know the numbers say otherwise, but hes actually a less accomodating signer than the stats show. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time a couple times. Generally, he is a strict 1 per on photos, and a 2 per overall.
RYAN O'REILLEY- 3 autographs. Happily did multiples. If he keeps up this pace for too much longer, we'll see if he is still happy to do multiples.
WOJTEK WOLSKI- 2 autographs. When confronted for an autograph, he'll do it. But he will do everything he can to avoid that, including waiting for a bigger player to be signing in hopes of sneaking by.
MILAN HEJDUK- 5 autographs. Usually a good 1-2 per signer. Still was.
DAVID JONES- 5 autographs. Willingly did everything presented to him.
CHRIS STEWART- 5 autographs. Signed multiples, but when there was more than a couple people around, he limited to just 1 or 2 per.
MAREK SVATOS- 1 autograph. He is continually challenging Wojtek for worst signer on the team. This trip, he might have won.
DAVID KOCI- 3 autographs. Willing signer of multiples.
BRIAN WILLSIE- 2 autographs. Willing signer of multiples.
PHILIPPE DUPUIS- 1 autograph. Signed anything put infront of him.
CHRIS DURNO- 2 autographs. Signed whatever was asked of him.
TJ HENSICK- 0 autographs. Signed willingly when asked, I just kept missing him for other players.
DARCY TUCKER, TJ GALIARDI, CODY MCLEOD & AMTT HENDRICKS- no reports
JOE SACCO- 1 autograph. Signed anything that he was asked to sign.
ADAM DEADMARSH- 4 autographs. Did everything asked of him.
STEVE KONOWALCHUK- 0 autographs. Signed whenever he was asked.
Total autographs from Colorado- 72
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