Brent Seabrook, Corey Crawford left off Canadian Olympic team
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter January 7, 2014 8:38PM
The facts: 7 p.m., NBCSN, 720-AM.
Updated: January 7, 2014 9:33PM
Defenseman Brent Seabrook was close enough to making Team Canada’s roster that he warranted a phone call Tuesday telling him he, in fact, hadn’t made it. It was a courtesy extended to a respected veteran and former Olympian, but all it did was get Seabrook’s hopes up.
‘‘I got a call, I got pretty excited, then I got the bad news,’’ Seabrook said.
Seabrook and goalie Corey Crawford didn’t hide their disappointment at being left off the hotly debated team. Both were agonizingly close to getting in, with Seabrook missing out to the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban and the Blues’ Alex Pietrangelo on the right side of the defense and Crawford being passed over for the Coyotes’ Mike Smith as the third goalie behind Roberto Luongo and Carey Price.
‘‘It’s pretty disappointing,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘It was definitely a goal of mine. I didn’t make it, so move on, focus on our team and on winning hockey games here.’’
Crawford shrugged when asked whether his recent groin injury cost him a spot.
‘‘They know how I can play,’’ he said.
Seabrook said that he was happy for teammates Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith for making the roster and that he’d be rooting them on from somewhere — likely somewhere warm.
‘‘I’m looking forward to watching, maybe having a few beers and relaxing over the break,’’ he said.
All three Swedish Hawks made Team Sweden, which is expected to contend for the gold medal. It’ll be defenseman Johnny Oduya’s second Olympics and the first for defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and center Marcus Kruger.
‘‘I’m really happy for both Krugs and Hammer to get to go for the first time,’’ Oduya said. ‘‘That’s something that’s really cool. We’re all good friends, so
it’s going to make it a little bit easier.’’
Hjalmarsson knew ahead of time that he had made the team. Oduya and Kruger both looked it up online rather than getting up early for a 5 a.m. news conference.
There are six Red Wings on the team, so enemies will become friends in Sochi.
‘‘I’ve played against them quite a bit, so now playing with them is going to be great,’’ Kruger said. ‘‘Great players and great persons, too. It’s just exciting.’’
Czech it out
Defenseman Michal Rozsival wasn’t watching the computer when his name was called by the Czech Republic. But his wife and kids were, and they came running to tell him he was picked for the first time. Rozsival, 35, said his contribution as an every-day player in the playoffs last season and winning his first Stanley Cup likely helped his candidacy.
‘‘I think it might have,’’ he said. ‘‘Obviously, more than that, hopefully my play or my performance in the games helped the coaches make the decision.’’