Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Suter Selection Would Make Eight Preds in the Olympics (From the Organization)

The official release from the Predators is interesting. Dirk, the Forechecker, posted an article that showed San Jose with the most Olympic picks with seven so far. The graph also shows the Predators with five.

The Predators release also includes Alexander Radulov as being "within the organization" which along with Pred prospect Roman Josi (Switzerland) would bring the total to seven. If Ryan Suter is named to the Team USA as expected, that would make eight total.

Here is the full text of the Predator's release...


Nashville, Tenn. (December 30, 2009) – Several rosters for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games were revealed today, and a number of Nashville Predator players were given the nod to play for their respective countries.

Shea Weber (Canada), Martin Erat (Czech Republic), Alexander Sulzer (Germany) and Marcel Goc (Germany) were all named to their respective nations’ Olympic rosters today, joining Patric Hornqvist as Predators who will be heading to Vancouver in February. The United States will be the last nation to announce its roster (Jan. 1), and Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter is a strong candidate to boost the number to six.

Weber was named to the team after tying a career high in assists with three in Tuesday’s win at St. Louis (first attained Oct. 18, 2008 vs. Columbus, 1g-3a). The Sicamous, B.C., native entered Wednesday night’s play tied for 12th among NHL defensemen in goals (6), tied for 18th in points (21) and third among blueliners in shots (101). An NHL defensemen-best five of his goals have come on the road.

Erat will be making his second consecutive Olympic appearance after scoring the game-winning goal in the Bronze Medal Game at the 2006 Games in Torino. Erat has points in 12 of Nashville’s 14 games this month, amassing 18 points (10g-8a). His goal on Sunday at Chicago tied Jason Arnott’s goal total from February 2009 for the most goals scored by a Predator in a single month, and is tied with Florida’s Stephen Weiss and Montreal’s Andrei Kostitsyn for first in the League. His point total in December is also tied for sixth-best in the NHL.

This is Goc’s third time to be named to the German Olympic roster, and second time to play in the Games – having scored one goal in five games for the Germans at the 2006 Games in Torino. With his eighth goal of the season on Tuesday at St. Louis (in addition to an assist), Goc matched a career high set in his 2005-06 rookie season with San Jose (81 games) in just 38 games. The Calw native has 10 points (4g-6a) in his last seven games, and 16 points in 2009-10 (8g-8a), which is the second-highest total of his career, trailing only the 22 points he recorded in 2005-06 (8g-14a). The first-year Predator has 13 points (6g-7a) in his last 14 outings after posting three points (2g-1a) in his first 24 contests of 2009-10. All 16 of Goc’s points have come at even strength, while 13 of his 16 points have come on the road. He has points in nine of his last 10 road games (7g-5a).

Recalled on Wednesday after a one-game assignment in Milwaukee, Sulzer will also be playing in his second Olympics for the Germans – he notched one assist in five games at the Torino Games.

The first Predator named to an Olympic squad was Hornqvist when defending gold medalist Sweden named him to its roster on Sunday. Hornqvist scored for the second consecutive game on Tuesday, giving him 10 points (7g-3a) in the last eight games. His seven goals in the second-half of December (since Dec. 14) are tied with Chicago’s Patrick Kane for tops in the League. The Sollentuna native is tied for third among Swedish NHLers in goals (13), ranks 12th among his countrymen in points (21), and is fourth among Tre Kronor forwards in plus/minus rating (+9). His four game-winning goals is tied for sixth in the entire League, and 19 (11g-8a) of Hornqvist’s 21 points (13g-8a) this season have come at even strength.

Others within the organization named to their respective countries’ Olympic Teams include Roman Josi (Switzerland) – who will be one of just two players (along with teammate Luca Sbisa) to play in both the 2010 World Junior Championships and 2010 Olympics – and Alexander Radulov (Russia).

The Predators wrap up a three-game Central Division road trip tomorrow night at 6 p.m. when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (FOX Sports Tennessee (HD), WGFX-104.5 The Zone). The team will then return to Nashville to play four straight games to start 2010, hosting Anaheim twice (Jan. 2 & 9), Calgary (Jan. 5) and Carolina (Jan. 7). Tickets to these games, and all other regular season contests, are now on sale and can be purchased by logging onto Tickets are also available by calling (615) 770-PUCK and at all Ticketmaster locations.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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