Barkov, Kopecky carry Olympic torch for Florida Panthers
Tomas Kopecky and rookie Aleksander Barkov are going to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The Florida Panthers had a pair of players named to their respective Olympic squads today.
Veteran forward Tomas Kopecky will represent Slovakia at the Olympics for a second time. Kopecky has four goals and five assists in thirty-eight games for the Panthers this season. The Ilaya native played in the 2010 Vancouver Games and scored one goal in seven matches while finishing the tournament with a plus-one rating. The 31-year-old has also represented his country twice at IIHF World Championship in 2012 and 2013.
Aleksander Barkov was named to Finland's Olympic roster. It will be the 18-year-old's first time representing his country in a tournament of this magnitude. Barkov has played for the Finns in the World Junior Championship twice. The big rookie pivot is currently on a six-game scoring streak and leads the Panthers with 22 points, while suiting up for all 43 games.
In somewhat of a surprise move, Tomas Fleischmann was not named to the Czech Republic entry. He was snubbed, along with fellow NHLers Jiri Hudler and Radim Vrbata, for players who hone their craft in the domestic Extraliga. Flash was on the team in 2010 and also saw duty for the Czechs twice at the World Championship.