Kaberle, Hagman going to Olympics

ROB LONGLEY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:50 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Hours before their current homeland learns who will be on its Olympic squad, a pair of Maple Leafs were named to the rosters of their respective countries for the Vancouver Olympic Games.

Defenceman Tomas Kaberle was named to the Czech Republic team while forward Niklas Hagman will add some scoring punch to Team Finland.

The veteran blueliner Kaberle -- who leads the Leafs in scoring and for much of the season was the top NHL point-getter among NHL defenceman -- was considered a lock for the Czech team.

He will be joined on defence by former teammate Pavel Kubina, who was dealt to the Atlanta Thrashers this summer. The 23-man Czech squad is deep with current NHLers and one famous former player -- Jaromir Jagr, who spent the past two seasons in the KHL.

Other big names on the squad announced by coach Vladimir Ruzicka include New Jersey forward Patrick Elias, Minnesota's Martin Havlat, Montreal's Tomas Plekanec and Boston's David Krejci.

Hagman is one of 15 Finnish players who were silver medalists in the previous Games, the 2006 edition in Torino, Italy. Big names on that squad include Anaheim Ducks forward Saku Koivu, Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom and Tampa netminder Antero Nittymaki, who was named tournament MVP in Torino.

Other Leafs expected to be headed for the Olympic competition are Americans Mike Komisarek and Phil Kessel. That team will be announced on New Year's Day by Leafs and U.S. general manager Brian Burke.

Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson has already been named to Team Sweden while centre Mikhail Grabovski is on the Belarus squad.


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