NHLers are headed to the Olympics once again and the Boston Bruins should be well-represented in Beijing.
After months of negotiating and posturing between the NHL, NHLPA, and IIHF, NHLers will be playing in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China next February. On Sunday, Hockey Wanderlüst, the international hockey newsletter, and its columnist Ken Yaffe, after consulting sources close to the National Hockey League, were the first to report that the NHL to the Olympics is a ‘foregone conclusion’ and that for the first time since the 2014 Sochi Games, the Winter Olympics hockey tournament will feature best-on-best. Multiple reports throughout the day on Sunday confirmed the initial report fromYaffe, who used to work in the NHL offices in New York.
It’s been a moving target, but all signs point to a decision next week on whether NHL players are going to the 2022 Beijing Olympics or not.
Sources I’ve talked to suggest an agreement between NHL, NHLPA, IIHF & Olympic committee is close, just down to some final items.
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) August 29, 2021
So now that it’s apparently a done deal that NHLers will be playing at the 2022 Beijing games, what Boston Bruins will be joining their native countries?
Hockey Canada already named Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney as an Assistant General Manager to St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong, who will serve as the GM. After Armstrong named his staff back in February, he named Tampa Bay Lightning and back-to-back Stanley Cup champion-winning coach Jon Cooper as his bench boss earlier this month. Cooper, in turn, named Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy as an Assistant on his staff. What about the Canadian-born players on the Boston Bruins’ roster?
Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron and alternate captain Brad Marchand are likely locks to make the roster. For Bergeron, this would be his third time representing his home country after donning the Maple Leaf at the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2014 Sochi Games. If Marchand is selected, this would be his first trip to the Olympics with Hockey Canada. Marchand, Bergeron, and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby formed instant chemistry and were the best line at the 2016 World Cup Of Hockey. Will Cooper and Cassidy reunite them in Beijing?
As for other potential Boston Bruins that could represent Hockey Canada at the Beijing games? Well, if Taylor Hall can build off the success he had down the stretch run and in the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, he could have an outside chance at securing his first trip to the Olympics.
Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy will likely be the lone Bruin playing for Team USA. After finishing fifth in voting for the Norris Trophy, McAvoy is poised for an even better 2021-22 season and will likely play an important role on a USA blue line that will be stacked with McAvoy, Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox (New York Rangers), Seth Jones (Chicago Blackhawks), and Zach Werenski (Columbus Blue Jackets).
Boston Bruins winger and 2020 Co-Rocket Richard winner David Pastrnak will likely join his former Bruins teammate and fellow countryman David Krejci playing for the Czech Republic.
Finally, and it’s a longshot at this point, but if Tuukka Rask does indeed sign with the Boston Bruins and makes a healthy and successful return to the NHL in late December or early January, could be a reserve for Finland?