In the wee hours of the morning, Russia announced its preliminary World Cup roster and, as expected, the headliner here is Alex Ovechkin, who is in the middle of yet another Hart Trophy-caliber campaign.
Joining Ovechkin (among others) are Capitals teammates Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov, both of whom are having tremendous breakout seasons, as well as former Cap Semyon Varlamov in net. In all, 16 players (see below) were named to the team that will compete in September's tournament (other countries will be announcing their inital rosters throughout the day today).
The Russian roster is loaded with firepower and talent in net, but, well, international tourneys haven't always worked out so well for them - just ask another of Ovechkin's Caps teammates, T.J. Sochi, err, Oshie.
Named to Team Russia are:
G Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
G Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche
G Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
D Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers
D Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens
D Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals
F Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks
F Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
F Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
F Nikolay Kulemin, New York Islanders
F Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals
F Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
F Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning
F Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
F Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks
F Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues