If you were putting together the 2014 Czech Republic Olympic team, chances are you'd likely have Jiri Hudler (11 goals, 33 points) and Radim Vrbata (11 goals, 29 points) on it. Both are third and fourth in scoring among Czech players in the NHL, but on Monday, they were left off the Olympic roster.
Via Sport.cz here's the squad:
Goalie: Jakub Kovar, Ondrej Pavelec, Alexander Salak
Defense: Michal Barinka, Radko Gudas, Tomas Kaberle, Lukas Krajicek, Zbynek Michalek, Michal Roszival, Ladislav Smid, Marek Zidlicky
Forward: Roman Cervenka, Patrik Elias, Michael Frolik, Martin Hanzel, Ales Hemsky, Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci, Milan Michalek, Petr Nedved, Jiri Novotny, Ondrej Palat, Tomas Plekanec (captain), Vladimir Sobotka, Jakub Voracek
Interesting decision to bring 42-year old Petr Nedved, who last played in the Olympics at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer as a member of Team Canada, to the party and leave Hudler and Vrbata at home.
Among the other notable names not named include Tomas Fleischmann, Tomas Hertl (injured), Roman Polak, Michal Neuvirth, Martin Erat, Jan Hejda and Martin Havlat (injured).
Said Czech head coach Alois Hadamczik: "I tried to pick the best team, who will be a party committed to achieve the best result."
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley was so astonished that Hudler wasn't included he dropped this bit of sarcasm when asked about the Czech's decision:
Bob Hartley says "Czechs must be very good team. They will win the Olympic Gold Medal. Any team that can keep Jiri Hudler off it must win.
— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) January 6, 2014
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