The Winter Olympic Games always offered another indication of the dominance of the Detroit Red Wings on the hockey stage. There were years when half of the team’s roster would be invited to display their talents on the world stage.
While it’s still not certain whether NHL players will be returning to the Olympics at Beijing in 2002, what is known for sure is that if they do, not many Red Wings figure to be making the trip.
If the NHL goes, these seven Red Wings look to have the best chance to be in Beijing.
Seider is, as former Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson liked to say, a mortal lock to be on he German team. He played in his second consecutive IIHF World Championship for Germany and was named the tournament’s top defenseman.
— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) May 14, 2019
Seider collected five assists in 10 games at the worlds. He also finished up earning rookie of the year in the Swedish League skating for Rogle. An Olympic experience would put an exclamation point on his rookie NHL campaign.
The year before Seider was the top defenseman at the worlds, Hronek was the one picking up the honor. He came back to Detroit and enjoyed a career year. Hronek led the Wings in scoring.
He’s been a loyal soldier for the Czech Republic, playing in the past three world championships.
Zadina could be ready for a breakout season with the Red Wings. He was a solid performer for the Czechs at last spring’s worlds.
Along with Hronek, they are part of the next wave of Czech stars.
Larkin always answers the bell when USA hockey comes calling. Larkin suited up for Team USA at the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 world championships. Injury kept him out of last spring’s tourney.
Dylan Larkin scored the OT winner for USA Hockey today in the World Championships. pic.twitter.com/KSVUfQJ9ZR
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) May 13, 2019
That being said, the Wings captain isn’t a lock to be part of the 2022 U.S. Olympic team. The Americans are deep down the middle and Larkin is coming off his worst NHL season. Still, his willingness to be a team player and fill any role and abiity to play on the wing likely gets Larkin on the squad.
Among the newest Red Wings, Suter is projecting to be Detroit’s second-line center.
Expectations are that the free-agent addition from the Chicago Blackhawks will also be filling the same role on the Swiss Olympic team.
On the subject of loyal soldiers, Blashill is always there when USA hockey needs him. The Red Wings coach was head coach for the U.S. team at the 2018 and 2019 worlds. He’s also served on USA hockey coaching staffs at the 2006 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, the 2009 World Junior A Challenge, the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, and the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
USA Hockey hasn’t named the staff who will work under Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan in Beijing. Expect Blashill to be part of that group.
Raymond is a longshot to crack Detroit’s roster this fall and he’ll be a longshot to garner a spot on the Swedish Olympic team.
He’ll be given strong consideration, though and his inclusion and there is precendece for his inclusion. In 2002, the Swedes added a Red Wings prospect for the Salt Lake City Winter Games who would go on to enjoy a stellar NHL career. It was a fellow by the name of Henrik Zetterberg.