Marian Hossa will support captain Zdeno Chara in his leadership role by wearing an ‘A’ for Team Slovakia in the 2014 Winter Games, reports the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc.
He’ll have a tough test ahead of him as Slovakia is entering the tournament with a significantly different squad than they had hoped as they lost forward Marian Gaborík and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to injuries prior to the tournament.
With that in mind, Hossa might find himself on the only Slovakian line comprised entirely of current NHL players. He’s projected to skate alongside Chicago teammate Michal Handzus and Detroit’s Tomas Tatar.
Even still, Hossa is likely to put high expectations on himself. The team surprised the world when it finished fourth in 2010, but it left him wishing they had managed to do better.
“So close but also so far (to winning bronze),” Hossa told the Chicago Tribune before he left for Sochi. “We ran into some penalty trouble. We felt like some of them they didn’t have to be called. It’s behind us, but it’s tough still when you think about it.”
The team’s odds of winning a medal this time aren’t good, but they need Hossa to have a good tournament to have any chance at all.