Lubomir Visnovsky will lead the Slovaks into Vancouver in search of an Olympic medal.
The Olympics don't bring a halt to the NHL season until late February, but all 30 SBNation NHL team sites are trying their luck at predicting which NHL players will wind up playing for their respective homelands. Vancouver 2010 will feature star power and international rivalries and the dominant story line will be Team Canada's march for gold. Here, then, are your Edmonton Oilers that have a shot at Olympic gold.
Pack Your Bags
Lubomir Visnovsky will be on the first pairing for Slovakia, along with Zdeno Chara. They are a highly skilled bunch and have a goalie that could knock a major power from the tourney. Visnovsky will run the power play and use his skating ability and underrated agility to launch the Slovakian attack. They open with the Czechs, the boys that bounced Slovakia last time around.
Nearly A Lock
Denis Grebeshkov is in the same boat as Khabibulin - he's guaranteed to be a top four defenseman as long as he's healthy. Like all of Edmonton's key players he's dinged up after taking a nasty and dirty knee-on-knee hit from Derek Roy of the Sabres.
In A Battle
Dustin Penner has had an outstanding year thus far but is in amongst a glut of talent and working aginst preconceptions. Still, the man that signed him to an offer sheet is running Hockey Canada, and if anyone could get Penner on the team, it's Kevin Lowe.
Work To Do
Ladislav Smid has had a fine season to this point, but is unproven and likely in the low teens on the Czech defensive depth chart.