Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara to captain Team Slovakia in Sochi

Zdeno Chara gives Team Slovakia a looming presence on the backline and a booming shot.
Damian Strohmeyer/SI

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) -- Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara will captain Slovakia at the Sochi Games next month, hoping to improve on fourth place at the Vancouver Olympics.

Other major Slovak stars, including Chicago Blackhawks forwards Michal Handzus and Marian Hossa and St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak are also on the 25-man squad that coach Vladimir Vujtek announced on Tuesday.

Defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky of the New York Islanders and Michal Sersen of HC Slovan Bratislava together with forward Marian Gaborik of the Columbus Blue Jackets made the team although they are still injured.

Slovakia starts the Olympic tournament on Feb. 13 against the United States before facing Slovenia and Russia in Group A.

In Vancouver in 2010, Slovakia surprised by placing fourth, its highest finish in Olympic ice hockey.

Goaltenders: Peter Budaj (Montreal Canadiens), Jaroslav Halak (St. Louis Blues), Jan Laco (Donbass HC, KHL)

Defensemen: Ivan Baranka (Avangard Omsk, KHL), Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins), Dominik Granak (Dynamo Moscow, KHL), Martin Marincin (Edmonton Oilers), Andrej Meszaros (Philadelphia Flyers), Andrej Sekera (Carolina Hurricanes), Michal Sersen (Slovan Bratislava, KHL), Lubomir Visnovsky (New York Islanders)

Forwards: Milan Bartovic (Slovan Bratislava, KHL), Marian Gaborik (Columbus Blue Jackets), Michal Handzus (Chicago Blackhawks), Marcel Hossa (Dynamo Riga, KHL), Marian Hossa (Chicago Blackhawks), Tomas Jurco (Detroit Red Wings), Tomas Kopecky (Florida Panthers), Tomas Marcinko (Modo, Swiss Elite), Michel Miklik (Slovan Bratislava, KHL), Peter Olvecky (Slovan Bratislava, KHL), Richard Panik (Tampa Bay Lightning), Tomas Surovy (Dynamo Minsk, KHL), Tomas Tatar (Detroit Red Wings), Tomas Zaborsky (Ufa Salavat Yulayev, KHL)

Team Canada announces loaded Sochi roster | MUIR: Yzerman got it right

MUIR: My final Team Canada projections | Canada's All-Snubbed Team
MUIR: USA roster cuts show depth | USA's All-Snubbed Team
MUIR: Swiss look solid | Jagr tops Czech roster | Ovechkin to lead Russia

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Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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