It's a surprise to no one, but long-time Team Switzerland leader and Islanders #1 defenseman Mark Streit has officially been named to the Swiss 2010 Olympic hockey team. No announcement on who wears the letters as of yet, but I'd be shocked not to see the "C" appear on his sweater again, too. Streit is now the elder statesman on the team.
As an Islanders fan who has watched Streit struggle to replicate his 2008-09 Norris-consideration form, I don't relish the thought of him spending the Olympic break logging heavy minutes for an underdog team against the most talented competition in the world. As a human and a Streit fan, though, I have to say: Congratulations Mark, and go get 'em.
Couple of interesting angles to the Swiss team, as reported at nhl.com: First, their coach Ralph Krueger -- a Winnipeger who's coached Switzerland for 13 years -- will be stepping down after the World Championships in May.
Second, this edition will feature Canadian-born Hnat Domenichelli, the 1994 Whaler draft pick with the funny name who saw time with the Flames (he was traded to the Flames for the late Steve Chiasson), Thrashers and Wild but since 2003 has been living what I can only imagine is a fantastic life playing pro hockey in Switzerland. If that life of hockey, Swiss skiing, and general sweetness doesn't rock enough, he gets to return to his homeland's Olympics as an Olympian himself. Nice work if you can get it.
The only revelation left, as far as Islanders Olympic candidates go (heh, unless you count Sweden's Mattias Weinhandl), is Team USA, whose announcement (with Kyle Okposo?) will come during the Winter Classic telecast.
Not only but also: Sound Tiger Mark Katic has been named to the AHL's All-Star game for the second year in a row. Last year he was joined by Andrew MacDonald, who's doing just fine at the NHL level.