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Anze Kopitar, Slava Voynov Named to Slovenian, Russian Olympic Teams

It was lost slightly in the hubbub around the Canadian and American Olympic selections, but a number of other Olympic teams announced their rosters yesterday and today. There are only two non-North American Los Angeles Kings (unless you count Brazilian-born Robyn Regehr), and now, it’s confirmed that they’ll both be playing in Sochi.

Every Kings fan’s second-favorite team announced their roster yesterday, and SURPRISE! Anze Kopitar made it. The more notable surprise was that Anze’s brother Gasper was omitted from the team. I have literally zero idea of whether this is considered a snub, because I don’t know anything about the rest of Slovenia. The full roster can be found here. I’m really hoping that Slovenia becomes the feel-good story of the Olympics, but the reality is that even if Kopitar is incredible, Slovenia has almost no chance of advancing past the round-robin. Even so, it’s going to be absolutely amazing getting to watch Kopitar and his team of underdogs battling the best teams in the world.

Meanwhile, it’s been rumored that Slava Voynov would be selected as a defenseman for Team Russia, and the country’s lack of depth on defense solidified the notion. So when the Russian team was announced earlier today, it was no huge shock to see Voynov’s name on there. Voynov, of course, wasn’t even sniffing the NHL in 2010, so it’s been quite the journey for Voynov to get to this point. Like Kopitar, he can now add an Olympic berth to the Stanley Cup ring on his resume. With Russia hosting the Games this season, Voynov has an excellent chance of earning a medal in Sochi. The formidable Russian roster can be found here.

So now, Americans and Canadians, you have your potential secondary rooting interests. US fans will be highly conflicted, as both Russia and Slovenia will be in the United States’ qualifying group. But if you’re not pulling for Slovenia, you have no heart.

We’ll have more on the Canadian selections later today; suffice it to say, we’re pretty pleased about Jeff Carter.