Vlasic, Marleau make Team Canada, Couture left out

Predicting Canada's Olympic roster

Vlasic, Marleau make Team Canada, Couture left out
January 7, 2014, 8:30 am
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Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Patrick Marleau and Antti Niemi join Joe Pavelski (Team USA) as the Sharks players that will participate in the Sochi games. (USATSI)

Programming note: Sharks-Predators coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California

Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and forward Patrick Marleau will compete for the Canadian Olympic team in Sochi, Russia, it was announced on Tuesday.

Vlasic, 26, has four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in 43 games. The defenseman has a +12 rating, tied for third on the team, and is third in time-on-ice per game at 20:57. It will be his first Olympic appearance.

Marleau was a part of the Gold Medal-winning Canadian team in 2010 in Vancouver, and leads the Sharks with 19 goals, tied for 12th in the NHL. He was not invited to the team’s orientation camp before the start of the NHL season, later admitting that it was a motivator to play well this season.

Left off of the roster was Logan Couture, likely due to scheduled hand surgery on Wednesday that will keep him out for the next three-to-four weeks, and Joe Thornton, who is the NHL’s assist leader with 43. Defenseman Dan Boyle, who has struggled at times in a return from a head injury in October, also did not make the cut.

[RELATED: Couture out 3-to-4 weeks with hand injury]

Earlier Tuesday, Antti Niemi was named to Team Finland, as one of its three goaltenders. Niemi will compete with Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Dallas’ Kari Lentonen for playing time in net for his home country.

Vlasic, Marleau and Niemi join Joe Pavelski (Team USA) as the Sharks players that will participate in the games. The Sharks have 16 games before the Olympic break begins on Feb. 8.