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On Wednesday, four members of the Boston Bruins – forwards Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Marco Sturm and defenseman Zdeno Chara – were named to their respective Olympic ice hockey teams. While Bergeron and Krejci will represent their countries – Canada and the Czech Republic, respectively – for the first time in their careers, the 2010 Games in Vancouver, British Columbia will mark the second time Chara represents his native Slovakia and the third time Sturm will play for Germany.
While Chara’s, Krejci’s, and Sturm’s honors were all expected, Bergeron’s was anything but that. Just two years removed from the Grade III concussion that nearly ended his career, Bergeron was never really talked about in relation to the Canadian Olympic squad. Instead, it was Marc Savard and Milan Lucic who received the most attention; Savard was considered snubbed by the committee when he wasn’t invited to the team’s summer orientation camp, whereas Milan Lucic was considered a fair bet to play in front of his hometown.
While injuries to both players which have kept them from receiving considerable playing time are valid reasons to have them left off of a forwards’ roster, Bergeron’s selection by Team Canada Executive Director Steve Yzerman comes as a bit of a surprise, as he is the only player to make the squad who was not invited to the team’s orientation camp during the summer.
However, as Bergeron has grown back into his pre-concussion form, his productivity has increased significantly. Through 38 games, he leads the team with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists), possibly helped by Savard’s prolonged absence, and made a name as one of the league’s two best players.
Especially of note is the fact that Bergeron and Crosby were teammates during the 2005 World Junior Championships with incredibly chemistry. Bergeron, the tournament’s most valuable player, led all players with 13 points, while Crosby led Team Canada with six goals. Yzerman will certainly be hoping for more of the same when the XXI Winter Olympic Games roll around in mid-February.
Congratulations from all of us at Sports of Boston to Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, and Marco Sturm for their honorable achievements!
Be sure to check back on New Year’s Day to learn if Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas earned a Team USA roster spot.
A complete Team Canada roster is available here.