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Which Rangers may head to Sochi in 2014?

Photo credit: ctpost.com

Photo credit: ctpost.com

While the next Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are still a little under a year away, discussions continue on between the NHL, NHLPA, IIHF and IOC to determine whether NHL players will participate in the games. As it stands right now, all signs point to an agreement being reached to keep the game’s best players representing their respective nations.

In the spirit of these discussions, I thought I’d take a look at which Rangers might be making the trip over to Russia next year…

The Locks

Henrik Lundqvist – Sweden: After a gold medal performance in 2006 and general NHL dominance over the past eight seasons, Hank is the guy for Sweden. Not even a disappointing 5th place finish in Vancouver could begin to dethrone The King.

Ryan Callahan – United States: Cally assumed a penalty-killing, bottom-6 role in Vancouver in 2010, often paired with former Ranger, Chris Drury. Callahan will play a much more prominent role on a still young US roster this time around. A letter is a distinct possibility for the Ranger captain.

Rick Nash – Canada: Nash was a major contributor for the Gold Medal winning Canadian side in 2010. If I recall correctly, it was the line of Nash, Richards and Jonathan Toews that really turned that tournament around for our neighbors to the north. Not really looking forward to seeing Nash on the other side of the puck again…

Marian Gaborik – Slovakia: No matter the current attitude of Ranger fans, Gaborik is still one of the best players in the world, and certainly one of the best Slovakian born players. He is an absolute lock for Sochi.

On the bubble

Derek Stepan – United States: Step has had a tremendous amount of international success already in his young career. He captained the 2010 US World Junior team to their second ever Gold Medal in Saskatoon, and was a member of the 2011 World Championship team. Will be make the jump to the Olympic stage in 2014? There is some potential for turnover on the US squad, so Step could work his way into serious consideration over the next several months.

Ryan McDonagh – United States: The debate rages on over whether McDonagh is a lock for the US blue line in 2014. I personally think he will make the team, but there are some very talented US rearguards looking for a spot as well.

Marc Staal – Canada: As we all know, Canada has the deepest pool of hockey talent in the world. The fact that they had the luxury of leaving the talented defenseman off the 2010 roster is pretty crazy. Canada should see some blue line turnover between Vancouver and Sochi, so Staal could claim one of those coveted spots. As always, however, there will be stiff competition.

Dan Girardi – Canada: Girardi is very much in the same boat as Staal. Most countries would kill to have players this talented on the bubble, so it will all depend on what GM Steve Yzerman has in mind for his defensive composition. If he values that shut down pair, Girardi should get a long look in camp.

Carl Hagelin – Sweden: Hags has had a very impressive start to his pro career. He might still be a little green to sneak into a very talented Swedish side, but he should still get his fair share of consideration. I will be interested to see if he gets any traction with his speed/forechecking prowess.

The long-shots

Michael Del Zotto – Canada: Considering the guys ahead of him on this list and serious puck movers like Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty already on the roster, I think MDZ will be sitting this one out. But, you never know…

J.T. Miller – United States: Like Derek Stepan, J.T. Miller has seen his share of international success. He has played in four international tournaments, including two World Juniors where he took home gold in 2013. He wore an “A” for that squad, but, while his Olympic time should come, it likely won’t be in 2014.

That seems to be it for possible Ranger Olympians. What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments below.

22 Responses to “Which Rangers may head to Sochi in 2014?”

  1. rickyrants13 says:

    Im hoping none of them make it They dont deserve it.

    • Spozo says:

      Dude you are are just flat out wrong sometimes in what you say

    • Spozo says:

      And just so you know, Tortarella is practically a lock for the coaching staff with an outside chance at head coach so please prepare all your “anti USA since Tortz is involved” posts.

      • Justin says:

        Good call Spozo, I wasn’t even really thinking about Torts. He will definitely be on the staff and I think has a good shot at the head coaching job.

      • Dave says:

        Good call on Torts. Didn’t even think about that.

  2. rickyrants13 says:

    It will be a real shame if he gets the nod since he is way under achieving right now. We will see just how much of a lock he is with the way this team is playing right now.

    I wouldnt let him coach a kis pee wee team right now. Funny how you all get up and ride his horse like a ride at the carnival. After they win one game. But after two shithouse games like this. You cant see the truth. Some of us are just better at it.

    Many of you would ave handed the cup to the Rangers Right after we signed him. nk god there are fans like Me who see things from another aspect.

    • Spozo says:

      I actually feel kind of bad for you. I would hate it if I went in to every game that I watch with this piss poor “we already lost this game before it started because I hate our coach” attitude. You obviously think he sucks but I just don’t get how you can be so ignorant, naive, and narcissistic to think that an armchair coach can see this when Glen Sather obviously disagrees. Te NHL (whoever votes on this) disagrees since he was a runner up for the Jack Adams award last year. And USA Hockey disagrees since he was an assistant coach in the last Olympics and will be as well in Sochi. But I guess you have some other qualifications that make your opinion the correct one.

      • VinceR says:

        It’s because he’s not afraid and see’s what we all can’t . He’s our brilliant hero!

  3. rickyrants13 says:

    Okay you just proved to me that your not ready for prime time. You used the Great Glen Sather as a measuring stick. Ha ha ha ha

    Dont play Me for a fool. Glen Sather hasnt won anything in the NHL since the Devils were still a Micky Mouse org.

    I bet you all said the same thing When this loser chose. All the other losers. Lowe and Renney and Trotts. Yea good call on that one. Im glad I dont make a living off of listening to you guys.

    And O the answer to your question. I dont go to the games anymore Well atleast not this year. The NHL had its fun screwing us all this year And unlike some of you I dont take that very lightly. I will not be going to the games this year due to the strike And may choose to sit them out till Gary Bettman is FIRED…

    • Spozo says:

      My point was that the decision makers who make millions and do this for a living and have done it for decades have faith in this guy yet you sit on the couch and watch the games and have determined that your opinion is better than theirs. I gave three examples, two of which you decided to ignore and then ripped the legitimacy of one.

    • Dave says:

      Slats may not have a recent success record, but he’s done a damn fine job of building this current team.

  4. VinceR says:

    “not ready for primetime”

    “don’t play me for a fool”

    “I bet you all said the same thing when”

    So Neil Smith is the Rangers answer and everyone else is a bum since 1940.

    Are you a cartoon character or Skip Bayless (which is redundant I suppose)? Good luck on taking your stand with the games, you are making a huge impact.

    • rickyrants13 says:

      You must be a fool if you think Im the only one who isnt going to the games. Get your head screwed on the right way for once. And look outside the box.

      And Tell me one time this team has won since 1940 since you wanted to go there. And yes I have done just as good as the Rangers Brass and coaches since 1994. NO CUPS at all since 1994.

      And I did it right from my couch and it cost the Rangers nothing. And you can NOT argue that.

      O and Vince I havent seen you answer My questions yet either and all you have done is harp on the goalie Thing. I havent once hear a solution from you at all About who is to blame for the Rangers woes NOT ONCE. In your world everything is okay in Ranger land

      • VinceR says:

        You haven’t seen me answer a question because you haven’t asked one.

        Ricky you seem to think the answer to fixing things is to find something to blame. It’s sad. I wish you the best, but you will never fix anything whether it’s a sports team or an issue in your life by appointing blame to someone.

        I don’t think there is a major move this season that can do much more than hurt the team. Sure there is tweaks…and if there is some dream trade out there, hell yeah, let’s do it! But I’m not holding my breath. I think they will be fine and are capable of making a run and are just playing way under their potential for various reasons/bad luck/bad timing, but I think they will turn it around before April ends.

        I’m fine if someone differs with that, and they have all the evidence to do so. As long as they structure a logical argument and spell it out, I’m willing to listen. But if their argument is just capitalizing random words and ranting about circular arguments and creating straw men to argue against…well it just ain’t worth reading to me.

        And if it’s just ranting to find someone to blame so they feel better about rooting for a sports team? I don’t really need to be a shoulder to cry on in that case.

        • VinceR says:

          As far as not going to games, the Rangers have been sold out all season and are raising ticket prices by 4% because of it.

          If I’m a fool it’s because I’m a season subscriber, but not because I think your one man boycott isn’t making a difference.

          • rickyrants13 says:

            Its far from a ONE MAN boycott. There are plenty that feel like I do. And just because My name says rants thats not all Im doing.

            Like I said I am offering a different look One that you guys DONT.

            And how the heck can you say that finding blame in someone doesnt fix things. Every major company in the world does that. THATS WHY people get fired…

            When things arent right you fix them. And you fix what is wrong. And most people that see the wrong in this team think its the COACH. I think its the coach.

            I have given better arguements and fixes then you. You just dont want to here them. Because you dont agree.

            • VinceR says:

              Ricky look at today’s posts in the newer column about how Torts is stifling the team. I don’t necessarily agree with them but they are well thought out arguments. Not senseless ranting like you usually put out. It’s not all you do, but it’s 99% of it. The tantrums get tiring.

              Fixing what is wrong isn’t about assigning blame to a person. It’s finding the root cause and fixing it. Your opinion is that it’s Torts and this team would be fantastic if we just had a different coach. And you say it over and over and over and over. We get it.

              It’s not your arguments, it’s your over the top style , repetitive nature, and your constant patting yourself on the back.

              We’ll see how the rest of the season goes. But I’m sick of this back and forth with you and your insistence that I don’t want to hear what you say because I disagree…I’m fine with other opinions, but at least make a coherent argument. If you were in a company and went about screaming at people and foaming at the mouth, you would indeed be fired.

              So let’s just call it…I won’t reply to your comments anymore and we can reduce this back and forth because it only gives you another opportunity to reply with more annoying comments. Good luck out there man.

  5. rickyrants13 says:

    O and last year was last year. He will be nowhere close to NHL coach of the year this year. He will be lucky if he fin in the top 16 this year.

    And dont even go there with this team USA crap. Its not like there are 20 other coaches to choose from. Ide be really impressed if it was for team Canada.

    • Spozo says:

      Fine I get it. You disagree with me. I disagree with you. Obviously neither of us are changing each others mind. You continue dreading each upcoming Ranger game and I will look forward to each. Good day.

  6. rickyrants13 says:

    Thats just it I dont dread them. Its after the game that Im dissapointed. And like under Renney when its all said and done. I will watch Sather fire Torts. And watch us have to start all over again. Only I will not be shocked by it Because I saw it comming.

  7. Dave says:

    I’d consider McDonagh a lock at this point. He’s just been phenomenal.

    For Staal/Girardi, it will be very interesting. There are much more qualified players who are more offensive and less physical. If Canada wants a well rounded defense, one will make it, not both.

    • Belle says:

      Agreed, McDonagh has been doing some amazing things right now for the team. And if he gets overlooked, that would be a gross misjudgment on Team USA’s part this time.

      I could see Team Canada taking Girardi over Staal at this point. If I had to choose between them. If taking Girardi is the case, I’d like to see McDonagh and Girardi going at it in Sochi