The hockey blogs on the SB Nation network have been putting together previews for the 2010 Olympics. The idea is to put together educated guesses about which players from each team will participate in the Winter Games. We don't want to get left out, so keep reading to see our predictions for players making the Olympics.
Jay McClement, Canada
With his combination of speed, hard work, determination and Zen-like ability to control his emotions in the game, Silent Jay should pack his bags for Vancouver. And when we say pack his bags, we mean he needs to put his cross country skis and rifle in travel bags so he can participate in the biathlon. Ah, the biathlon. It combines the obscure sports of cross country skiing and shooting. The biathlon requires the participants to ski as fast as they can for long stretches then stop and hit small targets at distance with their rifle. That requires the shooter to slow his breathing and heartbeat to get a steady bead on the target. McClement is perfect for it.
Paul Kariya, Canada
One of the fastest and agile skaters on the Blues with a combination of sparkling moves and aversion to contact, Kariya should pack his bags. And he should make sure to include his skates that have toe picks. Kariya is the perfect ice dancer. Just add sequins.
T.J. Oshie, USA
Backwards hat, check. Frosted hair tips, check. Wild energy, check. Reckless abandon, double check. Oshie will be a hit in freestyle snowboarding, preferably the half pipe. Tell me he's not the prototypical snowboarder. Plus he'd guarantee a sellout and hundreds of screaming 16-year-olds.
Ty Conklin, Chris Mason, Canada
This tandem, they just look like they get along really well. They're openly happy for the other after victories and look genuinely concerned after defeats. Goaltenders are a different breed. They're odd. Different. Oddballs, you see. So they have a bond that most players can't even fathom. That's why they will be threats to contend in doubles luge. Have you seen these people in their skin-tight suits all spooned together? You think any two guys can just mount each other and the sled before hurtling down the ice-covered track? Most guys would piss their pants, and on doubles luge you really don't want that. Conk and Mase, they have everything.
David Backes, USA
The Olympics next year are in Vancouver. That's part of Canada last time we checked. And they sometimes highlight some of the local sports during the games. A dark horse to win a medal has to be David Backes in bear wrestling. He'll be in a battle with some work to do before becoming nearly a lock, but it's a safe bet he'll be moving on up the rankings as long as the bears agree to fight him. If not, he'll be moving down.
Patrik Berglund, Sweden
The second-year Swede has been gliding up and down the ice, just kind of scuffling along the entire season. Berglund should pack his broom for curling.
Alex Steen, Canada
It's as plain as the nose on his face, Steen is perfect for ski jumping. The said nose will cut the wind like a shark's fin through room temperature Velveeta. Plus he's mostly from Europe, so he's got that going for him, which is nice.
B.J. Crombeen, USA
Look at the marked-up, bruised, cut, toothless mug on this guy and know he has no fear. He's perfect for skeleton. You don't know what skeleton is? That's the sport where you climb on a sled that's about the size of a cafeteria tray and all the control of one and you slide down the ice track, cranium first at huge rates of speed - even when they measure it at kilometers per hour. Godspeed, B.J. Just remember there's no freaking brakes.
Roman Polak, Czech Republic
Now he's got a lot of work to do to make the Czech Republic men's ice hockey team. But he's pretty much a lock to make Team Italy. Or Poland's.
Are there any players/sports we missed? Give 'em in the comments.
Remember, Blues at Sharks tonight. GDT will be hopped up on Red Bull. Come back, won't you?