SOCHI 2014: Team Switzerland
Switzerland is no longer a stranger to the hockey world. They upset the Canadians in the 2006 Turin Olympics and came close to doing it again in Vancouver. They are the current World Championship silver medalists and they are a team not to be taken lightly.
From the National Hockey League perspective, look for the sensational Nino Niederreiter who spent last season with the Islanders’ AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He has recently been traded to the Minnesota Wild though and this upcoming season should prove to be a big one for him. Reto Suri is another powerful Swiss forward who spent last year with EV Zug. He signed a one year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning for this upcoming season.
Another traded Islander, former captain Mark Streit may be apart of Switzerland’s club. His new acquired team, the Philadelphia Flyers will definitely be welcoming his help on the blue line this year as will the Swiss. Other defenders that should pop up are Montreal’s Raphael Diaz and Nashville’s Roman Josi.
In goal, journeyman Martin Gerber should see some game time. He was last in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers in 2011. Has since been playing in the KHL and the Swiss league.
The rest of the club will be made up of the Swiss’s leagues best. SC Bern, HC Davos, and ZSC Lions will provide most of the players of Switzerland’s roster.
Although the Swiss are a still a few years away from an Olympic medal, their chances are getting better and better at every tournament. I would love to see these guys step out from the underdog spotlight.