Three years ago, six members of the Chicago Blackhawks headed to Vancouver to play with their respective national teams in the Winter Olympics. Of those players, four returned to Chicago with medals: Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook won gold with Team Canada, while Patrick Kane earned silver with Team USA. This time, those four are returning to their country’s Olympic camps and bringing some new faces with them.
Team Canada’s orientation camp is being held August 25-28 in Calgary, and the names on the roster are no surprise to hockey fans. For Blackhawks fans, Toews, Keith and Seabrook are returning to camp, and they’re bringing along Patrick Sharp and Corey Crawford. After the amazing season Crawford’s had, it would’ve been foolish to snub him. The interesting fact about Crawford is that while others have represented Canada in international competition (World Juniors, World Championship, and Olympics), he’s the only player on the roster who hasn’t.
Team USA’s orientation camp will be held August 25-27 in Alexandria, Virginia. Again, many of the names are not surprising to see. Kane is obviously returning, but he’s bringing teammates Brandon Saad and Nick Leddy with him as fellow invitees. Both men had great seasons, with Saad earning a Calder Trophy nomination. The addition of Leddy is good for the US team, as they were thin on defense in Vancouver and could use a boost.
Other international invitees to national camps include Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger for Sweden’s team and Blackhawks prospect Antti Raanta for Finland’s team. The Czech and Slovak camp rosters haven’t been announced yet, but Marian Hossa will surely be on the list for the Slovakian team as well as Michal Handzus. Michal Rozsival could also get an invitation from the Czech team.
Rosters should be set by the end of the year. Now’s the time to speculate on who will make the cut. Perhaps we’ll see some extra hardware at United Center when the team returns from their Olympic break.