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Four Bruins assured trips to Olympics

Posted by Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff  December 30, 2009 03:29 PM

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Tim Thomas won't know until late Friday afternoon if he'll be going to the Olympics with Team USA, but four of his Boston teammates already know that they're headed to Olympus--each of them with different squads.


Patrice Bergeron, who was not invited to the Team Canada's orientation camp in Calgary this past July, today was named as one of the 13 forwards who'll represent Canada in the Games. Bergeron will join one of his ex-Boston teammates, Joe Thornton, on the Canadian squad.


For Bergeron, 24, it will be his first time at the Games. Thornton played on Canada's '06 squad at Torino, Italy, and logged a meager 1-2--3 in six games. The Canadians did not include either Marc Savard or Milan Lucic on their Olympic squad. Both Bruins were hopeful of playing in their first Games and Lucic was part of the Canadian orientation camp in the summer. Savard was not invited to the Calgary camp.


David Krejci, another Bruins center, was named to the Czech Repbulic squad today. The 23-year-old pivot, who left home in 2004 to play junior hockey in Quebec, also has never played in an Olympics.


Boston winger Marco Sturm was named to the German team today, which will make him a three-time Olympian. Sturm, 31, played for the motherland in '98 (Nagano) and '02 (Salt Lake City), but was not part of the German team in '06, which was the same season he joined the Bruins via the deal that sent Thornton to the Sharks.


Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was named to the Slovakian Olympic squad on Tuesday. It will be Big Z's second trip to Olympus, after making his debut in the '06 Games, just months before he signed with the Bruins as a free agent out of Ottawa.


Rookie Boston netminder Tuukka Rask, expected to start tonight at the Garden against Atlanta, was not named among the three Finnish netminders. Instead, the Finns will be represented in net by the likes of Miikka Kiprusoff (Calgary), Antero Niitymaki (Tampa) and Niklas Backstrom (Minnesota).


Rask was considered a longshot for the squad, but his name gained some traction when Kiprusoff, the Flames workhorse, said recently that he might not go to the Games unless he were assured of being his country's No. 1 starter.

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