The last time Switzerland won a medal in Olympic ice hockey, the year was 1948 and the games were played outdoors at the St. Moritz Olympic Ice Rink.
The Swiss came away with the bronze that year (Canada won gold; Czechoslovakia silver); however, it’s been a pretty tough go since.
Could the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, mark Switzerland’s return to the Olympic podium?
Well, let’s be honest, probably not. But if you’re looking for a dark horse, the Swiss do feature veteran NHLers like Flyers defenseman Mark Streit and Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller. They also have some young talent up front in Flames forward Sven Baertschi and free agent Damien Brunner. Nashville defenseman Roman Josi is another promising young player.
Suffice to say, it would be unwise for the favorites to overlook this team.
You may recall in 2010 when Switzerland pushed home side Canada to a shootout in the preliminary round. The Swiss were eventually eliminated by the United States in the quarterfinals, but only by a score of 2-0 (with an empty-netter).
Switzlerand also won a silver medal at the 2013 World Championship — beating Canada and the U.S. along the way — losing in the gold-medal game to home-side Sweden.
For the complete list of 47 players invited to Switzerland’s Olympic evaluation camp, click here.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.