Olympic Bound: Raphael Diaz and Tomas Plekanec

The Montreal Canadiens are going to be well-represented in Sochi at the Winter Olympics. As rosters continue to be announced, Habs teammates find themselves split apart on who they will be playing for as well as rooting for. Earlier today, the rosters for Switzerland and the Czech Republic were revealed, where a few names stood out. Raphael Diaz, Tomas Plekanec and even former Canadiens Tomas Kaberle and Yannick Weber will be suiting up for their respective countries.

Diaz, 27, has been representing Switzerland since the WJC-18 D1 tournament during the 2003-04 season. While he has not always produced at international tournaments, like in the 2010 Olympics, Diaz is capable of providing an offensive threat on the powerplay. Unfortunately, his current issue with Montreal is his inability to consistently hit the net. However, Raphael has the vision to be able to make first passes, find the open man and be an outlet for generating a scoring opportunity. If Diaz can get his form back to what it was before he had his concussion last year with the Habs, then he will be someone to look out for when watching the Swiss.

Photo: Jean Levac, Canwest News Service

Photo: Jean Levac, Canwest News Service

Plekanec, 31, has not only been named to the Czech team but he will be their captain. This is a great honour for the Habs forward and he is quite deserving. Per Matejovsky, the Czech coach said, “It was not hard to choose Plekanec as a captain. I know him from the beginning on the national team. He is dedicated and complete player”. Plekanec has represented his home country in various tournaments, most recently at the World Championships in the 2012-13 season where he had four assists in two games as well as a +2 rating.

There are other big named veterans on the team like his buddy Jagr, who many feel should have been signed over Briere. Have to think that Plekanec will be on a line with Jaromir as they have shown in the past that they have great chemistry.

Now let’s take a look at the full rosters for both teams…

Switzerland:
Goalies: Reto Berra (Calgary), Jonas Hiller (Anaheim) and Tobias Stephan (Genève-Servette)
Defense: Severin Blindenbacher (Zurich), Mathias Seger (Zurich), Raphael Diaz (Montreal), Philippe Furrer (Bern), Roman Josi (Nashville), Julien Vauclair (Lugano), Mark Streit (Philadelphia) and Yannick Weber (Vancouver)
Forwards: Andres Ambühl (Davos), Matthias Bieber (Kloten), Simon Bodenmann (Kloten), Damien Brunner (New Jersey), Nino Niederreiter (Minnesota), Reto Suri (Zug), Simon Moser (Milwaukee/Nashville), Luca Cunti (Zurich), Morris Trachsler (Zurich), Roman Wick (Zurich), Ryan Gardner (Bern), Martin Plüss (Bern), Denis Hollenstein (Genève-Servette) and Kevin Romy (Genève-Servette)

Did not make the cut: Sven Bärtschi (Abbotsford/Calgary)

Czech Republic:
Goalies: Jakub Kovar (Yekaterinburg), Ondrej Pavelec (Winnipeg) and Alexander Salak (St. Petersburg)
Defense: Ladislav Smid (Calgary), Michal Rozsival (Chicago), Zbynek Michalek (Phoenix), Lukas Krajicek (Minsk), Tomas Kaberle (Kladno), Radko Gudas (Tampa Bay) and Michal Barinka (Vitkovice)
Forwards: Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia), Vladimir Sobotka (St. Louis), Tomas Plekanec (Montreal), Ondrej Palat (Tampa Bay), Milan Michalek (Ottawa), Jiri Novotny (Prague), Petr Nedved (Liberec), David Krejci (Boston), Jaromir Jagr (New Jersey), Patrik Elias (New Jersey), Ales Hemsky (Edmonton), Martin Hanzal (Phoenix), Roman Cervenka (St. Petersburg) and Michael Frolik (Winnipeg)

Notable snubs: Jirí Hudler (Calgary), Radim Vrbata (Phoenix), Tomas Fleischmann (Florida), Martin Erat (Washington), Michal Neuvirth (Washington), Jan Hejda (Colorado), Jirí Tlusty (Carolina) and Jakub Kindl (Detroit)

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