A pair of San Jose Sharks were named to Team Canada’s roster and one was named to Team Finland Tuesday as the rosters for all 12 nations that will compete in hockey at the Sochi Olympics next month were set.
Forward Patrick Marleau and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic will represent Canada at the first Winter Olympics to be played in Russia, while goalie Antti Niemi was one of three netminders selected to represent Finland.
Notable by his absence is Sharks captain Joe Thornton, who leads the NHL in assists and is fifth in the scoring race with 48 points. He was a member of Team Canada in 2006 and 2010, but was thought to be hurt this time around by Canada’s wealth of center-ice men.
For the 34-year-old Marleau, it will be his second Olympics. He was on Canada’s gold-medal winning squad in Vancouver four years ago, scoring two goals and five points in seven games. For the Sharks this season, Marleau leads the club with 19 goals and has 41 points.
Vlasic, 26, is a first-time Olympian. He has four goals and 16 points this season and averages nearly 21 minutes per game on ice, third among San Jose skaters.
Niemi, 30, is also a first-time Olympian. A Stanley Cup winner with the Blackhawks in 2010, Niemi leads NHL goalies in games played this season with 37 and led the NHL in wins and minutes played last year. He is 22-8-6 this year with a 2.45 goals against average and .911 save percentage and has recorded two shutouts.
Joe Pavelski was named to Team USA after the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.