Tretiak provides some early 2014 Olympics bulletin board material

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After watching Russia beat Finnish, Swedish and Czech teams by a combined score of 14-2 in the Channel One Cup tournament this weekend, legendary goalie Vladislav Tretiak stirred the pot a bit in advance of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Specifically, Tretiak watched a loaded Russian team that included Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin and told R-Sport that they have what it takes to defeat Canada.

“Beating the Canadians? Why not?” Tretiak said. “This team can win. With slick, clinical and stable play, of course it can.”

That could be some (very early) bulletin board material, although the three-time gold medalist admits a lot can change between now and 2014.

“There are mistakes, and the team is not finalized, it’s hard to predict who’ll play in Sochi,” Tretiak said. “But the team has its signature, and the players are maintaining the correct course.”

Beyond potential hurdles for the roster – the NHL’s involvement isn’t guaranteed, for one thing – there’s also the rest of the world to consider.

(Russia didn’t earn an ice hockey medal in 2010, after all.)

Still, it’s not like Tretiak is making a broad guarantee … and it’s nice to imagine the best professional hockey players competing against each other again, isn’t it?

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)