With the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing less than six months out and most of the offseason frenzy dying, Olympics conversations have been heating up.
Even during the offseason, things have been non-stop for Tampa Bay Lightning fans, as the announcement came, head coach Jon Cooper will carry over the same title to Canada’s hockey team once the Games open on February 4th in Beijing, China. Having your name called to play for your country at the highest level is an honor, and when you are part of a roster that has won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships- your chances of getting that call are likely much higher.
A total of 12 teams will make it to Beijing, as it stands now- nine are qualified:
- United States
- Czech Republic
- ROC (Russian Olympic Committee)
The remaining three teams will be decided with a play-in tournament at the end of August. With the Countries currently already scheduled to play in Beijing this Winter, this Lightning have a staggering 23 players on their roster that could make their countries Olympic team. Out of the 23 eligible, which have the best chances of putting on their countries sweater in an attempt to secure the gold?
Of course, this could all be for nothing if the NHL and NHLPA decide to forgo the Olympics again as they did in 2018. Until then, here are your presumed Olympians.