Finland has been one of the most competitive nations that haven’t won a gold medal in the Olympics yet. While that drought is likely to continue at the Sochi tournament, the Finnish team will present a strong roster nonetheless.
The team has been able to remain competitive in the last seven tournaments where they have won five medals, and their squad will have several NHL stars. The goaltending position will arguably be the strongest with Boston Bruins’ Tuukka Rask, Dallas Stars’ Kari Lehtonen and San Jose Sharks’ Antti Niemi, but the most surprising player will be in the forward lines.
Finland will feature star winger Teemu Selanne and the Anaheim Ducks’ forward will take part in his sixth Olympic tournament which ties a country record. Selanne is already 43-years-old and is playing in his final NHL season with the Ducks. While he hasn’t been taking part in a major offensive load like he did in the past due to his advanced age, he is still one of the key players on the team and will likely be used in a special role with Finland.
Selanne, however, is not the only star of the team in the forward lines. Pittsburgh Penguins’ Jussi Jokinen, Tampa Bay Lightning’s Valteri Filppula and Minnesota Wild’s Mikael Granlund are some of the other players that will try to lead the Finnish side – a team that has 16 players currently in the NHL – to their first gold medal ever.
It would be a perfect career ending for Teemu Selanne. Although the chances are slim, Finland is one team that no one can discard from participating in the final stages of the competition. They are already making history by including Selanne on the roster, and now they will look to get their first ever gold medal.