ZURICH – Switzerland’s roster for next month’s Sochi Olympics features eight NHL players, including Raphael Diaz of the Montreal Canadiens, Yannick Weber of the Vancouver Canucks and Reto Berra of the Calgary Flames.
Berra is one of two NHL goaltenders chosen for the team, along with Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks. Tobias Stephan, who played just under a dozen games for the Dallas Stars in 2007-08 and 2008-09 is the third. Stephan recently helped Swiss club HC Geneve-Servette to its first Spengler Cup title.
Diaz and Weber are part of a half-NHL Swiss defence along with Mark Streit of the Philadelphia Flyers and Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators. Severin Blindenbacher, Philippe Furrer, Mathias Seger and Julien Vauclair, all of whom play in Switzerland, are the other four defencemen.
Up front, Nino Niederreiter of the Minnesota Wild and Damien Brunner of the New Jersey Devils were the only NHL forwards picked for the team. Missing was Sven Baertschi of the Flames, who was put on Switzerland’s “side list” and could be an injury replacement.
Predators prospect Simon Moser, who’s currently playing for the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, made it. Andres Ambuhl, Matthias Bieber, Simon Bodenmann, Luca Cunti, Ryan Gardner, Denis Hollenstein, Martin Pluss, Kevin Romy, Reto Suri, Morris Trachsler and Roman Wick round out the roster.
Ducks defenceman Luca Sbisa, who suffered a torn tendon in his right hand in November, was put on the team’s side list. Sbisa’s initial time frame for a return to action was mid-January.