Four more Preds added to Olympic rosters

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 2:10am
Staff Reports

Three more countries grabbed Nashville hockey players to fill rosters for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games on Wednesday.

Shea Weber (Canada), Martin Erat (Czech Republic), Alexander Sulzer (Germany) and Marcel Goc (Germany) were all named to their respective nations’ Olympic rosters, joining Patric Hornqvist as Predators who will be heading to Vancouver in February.

The United States will be the last nation to announce its roster — on New Year’s Day — and Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter is a strong candidate for that squad.

Weber was named to the Canadian team after tying a career high in assists with three in Tuesday’s win at St. Louis. The Sicamous, B.C., native entered Wednesday night’s play tied for 12th among NHL defensemen in goals (6), tied for 18th in points (21) and third among blueliners in shots (101).

Erat will be making his second consecutive Olympic appearance after scoring the game-winning goal in the Bronze Medal Game at the 2006 Games in Torino. Erat has points in 12 of Nashville’s 14 games this month.

This is Goc’s third time to be named to the German Olympic roster, and second time to play in the Games — having scored one goal in five games for the Germans at the 2006 Games in Torino. Sulzer, just recalled on Wednesday after a one-game assignment in Milwaukee, also will be playing in his second Olympics for the Germans — he notched one assist in five games at the Torino Games.

Hornqvist was the first Pred to be named when defending gold medalist Sweden named him to its roster on Sunday.

Others within the organization named to their respective countries’ Olympic Teams include Roman Josi (Switzerland) — who will be one of just two players (along with teammate Luca Sbisa) to play in both the 2010 World Junior Championships and 2010 Olympics — and Alexander Radulov (Russia), who though playing in Russia remains under contract with Nashville.

Briefly

• Mike Santorelli also was recalled (along with Sulzer) to Nashville, President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Wednesday. The 23-year-old forward has suited up for 21 NHL contests this season, posting three points (2g-1a). It will be Santorelli’s third stint with the Predators.

• The Predators have returned to Nashville after a three-game road trip, taking on Columbus Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Sommet Center, then play four straight games to start 2010, hosting Anaheim twice (Saturday and Jan. 9), Calgary on Tuesday and Carolina on Thursday. As always, call 770-PUCK for tickets.