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A guide to Olympic hockey, including some potential future Rangers.

A fairy tale once came true and it happened to “U-S-A, U-S-A,” but this isn’t 1980 and Pyeongchang isn’t Lake Placid. So, pockets full of miracles a thing of hockey history, sit back and enjoy the lads with intriguing backstories who will represent the Red, White and Blue in this quite less than best-on-best Olympic...
Time: 01:04     Date: 14.02.2018
Last US Sport News: A guide to Olympic hockey, including some potential future Rangers. NY Post 24 - US News

So, pockets full of miracles a thing of hockey history, sit back and enjoy the lads with intriguing backstories who will represent the Red, White and Blue in this quite less than best-on-best Olympic competition that will provide a showcase for Rasmus Dahlin, the Swedish defenseman who will go first in the NHL draft in June and, who, if the standings remain stagnant, the Rangers would have a 3.3 percent chance of selecting by winning the lottery jackpot.

The boys from Russia, called the Olympic Athletes from Russia in the wake of the massive doping scandal of 2014, are loaded and expected to win gold for the first time since 1992 in Albertville, when they weren’t Russia then, either, instead known as the Unified Team that included athletes from six of the 15 republics of the former U.S.S.R.

The tournament might — might — catch on here if the band of street urchins wearing the USA jerseys play to an unexpected level and compete for a medal. Otherwise, romance will be left to the storytellers and story-makers from other countries.

The Outliers

Norway has gone 0-8 in its two Olympic tournaments, but as Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello said last week, “I’m the only [NHL player] that’s missing, so maybe we have a chance to win a game for the first time. Maybe against Germany.”

Slovakia has hired former NHL head coach Craig Ramsay to run the team that includes 38-year-old winger Ladislav Nagy, who last played in the NHL in 2007-08 and who is making his first appearance in the Olympics after representing his country in seven previous international events.

In goal for Switzerland there is Jonas Hiller and on defense is Rafael Diaz, the former Ranger who — who knows? — might even make a return to Broadway following the end of his season with EV Zug if injuries keep mounting and the trade deadline creates even more openings.

The Competitors Predators prospect Eeli Tolvanen, who will play for Finland, could be high on the Rangers’ wish list.Getty Images

The Czech Republic, which passed on Jaromir Jagr and has failed to win a medal in the previous two Olympics, has a veteran team fronted by Martin Erat.

Finland, which has won medals in five of the last six games, won’t have Teemu Selanne for the first time since 1994, but presents Dallas’ Miro Heiskanen, the No. 3 pick in the 2017 draft, on defense and Nashville’s Eeli Tolvanen, the No. 30 pick, on the wing. Rangers fans can only dream that Predators GM David Poile is so smitten with Rick Nash that he would swap the projected future star for No. 61.

Team USA coach Tony Granato is in his second year behind the Wisconsin bench, and though friends have called that his dream job, could he become a candidate for the job on Broadway if the Rangers move on from Alain Vigneault after the season? Granato starts the Games with Ryan Zapolski, a KHL all-star with Matt Gilroy’s Jokerit team who never played above the ECHL level in North America, in goal. Winger Jordan Greenway, the first African-American to represent the States in the Olympics, is a Minnesota prospect whom the Rangers would have interest if the Wild get in on Ryan McDonagh, either now or at the draft.

The Contenders Rasmus Dahlin is the heavy favorite to go No. 1 in the 2017 NHL Draft.AP

Sweden comes with Dahlin on the blue line, Jhonas Enroth in nets, former Ranger Viktor Stalberg on the wing and with Joel Lundqvist, playing in his first Olympics after representing his country seven times at the World Championships, at center.

Canada is seeking to three-peat here with Ben Scrivens in goal and a team featuring NHL-deep Chris Kelly, Rene Bourque, Derek Roy, Gilbert Brule, Maxim Lapierre, Mason Raymond and Wojtek Wolski up front.

This tournament is there for the Russians By Any Other Name — OAR, to be precise — to win (or lose, depending on one’s perspective). Pending Ranger Ilya Kovalchuk will join a cast that features Pavel Datsyuk and Vadim Shipachyov up-front and the banished Slava Voynov on defense. Igor Shestyorkin, the Tsar in waiting to emigrate to Broadway when his KHL contract expires following next season, is expected to share backup duty with future Islander netminder Ilya Sorokin behind the veteran Vasily Koshechkin.

Sport

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Opinion

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As many of us heard testimonies from the survivors of the Parkland massacre, it felt like we were living in an alternate...
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In the bitter struggle to force Harlem’s Atlah church to take down a sickeningly gay-bashing, illegal sign, the city’s...
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In the wake of the horrific slaughter in Parkland, Fla., a cadre of energized and understandably traumatized teenagers has...

Living

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PITTSBURGH — Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stepped over the line by redrawing the entire state’s electoral...
US Living News: Celebs will sully the teen fight for gun control. NY Post 24 - US News
Celebs will sully the teen fight for gun control.
As many of us heard testimonies from the survivors of the Parkland massacre, it felt like we were living in an alternate...
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OSLO – Norway plans to spend 100 million Norwegian crowns ($13 million) to upgrade a doomsday seed vault on an Arctic...
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PARIS — French customs officers have found an impressionist painting by Edgar Degas stowed on a bus, more than eight years...
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A new art installation just rolled into the Garment District: six 9-foot-high wheels, which passers-by can crawl into and...
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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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US men’s curling team captures unlikely gold medal.
GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The American men have won the Olympic gold medal in curling in a decisive upset of Sweden. John...
Last US Sport News: Aaron Boone gets endorsement from the original ‘Gardy’. NY Post 24 - US News
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TAMPA — This Grapefruit League opener, Friday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field, presented a study in contrasts....
Last US Sport News: Chris Kreider’s return a reminder of what Rangers were missing. NY Post 24 - US News
Chris Kreider’s return a reminder of what Rangers were missing.
It didn’t take long for Chris Kreider to remind everyone what the Rangers have been missing. The integral winger returned...
Last US Sport News: St. John’s gets big contributions from this unsung hero. NY Post 24 - US News
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