With the recent announcement that NHL players would be allowed to compete for their countries at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, several countries have announced their National Team Orientation Camp Rosters.
Several Sharks and former Sharks received invites to their respective countries' camps. The idea of the camps is to give each country a feel as to what they have to work with. The countries must cut down their camp to the maximum roster size of 25 before the games begin.
Attending the 48-man camp for Team USA from the Sharks will be forward Joe Pavelski, who played on Team USA in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, winning a silver medal. In six games, he tallied three assists and won 68 percent of his face-offs, third best percentage in the tournament. He also won the face-off that lead to the game tying goal with less than a minute to play in the gold-medal match against Team Canada.
Team USA's camp will be held from August 26-27 in Arlington, VA.
Team Canada begins their 47-man camp looking to defend their gold medal title. Four Sharks have been named to their Orientation Camp Roster, tying the Pittsburgh Penguins for the most players from a single team attending the camp.
Returning Olympians from the Sharks are forward Joe Thornton and defenseman Dan Boyle. Both took home gold medals in Vancouver. In 2010, Joe Thornton had one goal and one assist for Team Canada along with winning 62 percent of his face-offs. He played with Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau on the infamous "Shark" line (known as the "Burger" line to Sharks fans for its Jumbo-Heated-Patty).
Boyle was the third highest scoring defenseman in the 2010 Olympics. In seven games he had one goal and five assists to go along with a plus/minus of +5.
Forward Logan Couture and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic are the two new names from the Sharks headed to the Olympic camp. Couture and Vlasic have both emerged as two of the young standout players and leaders on the Sharks these past few years and they now have a chance to prove that they deserve a spot on Team Canada. Team Canada's camp will take place in Calgary on August 25-28.
The 54-man roster for Team Finland includes Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi. He will head to Finland to compete for one of three spots on Team Finland, the goalie capital of the world. Finland has invited eight goalies to their camp.
Two former Sharks were also named to their respective countries Orientation Camp Rosters. Former Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov (N.Y. Islanders) has been named to Team Russia's 35-man camp and former Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray (UFA) has been named to Team Sweden's 35-man camp. Both played for their country in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. Russia's camp will take place in Sochi, the home of the 2014 Olympic games, on August 23-24. Sweden's camp will take place in Stockholm from August 12-14.