ZURICH – Swiss national team coach Ralph Krueger called 33 players from the Swiss NLA to attend the annual kick-off event in Winterthur two weeks from now.
Switzerland doesn’t have an official candidate list yet, but with the announcement of the four goalkeepers, ten defencemen and 19 forwards on Tuesday the Vancouver picture began to take focus.
With the addition of players that are under contract abroad, Krueger will have about 40 candidates for the Olympic roster.
The four Swiss NHL players Mark Streit (New York Islanders), Jonas Hiller, Luca Sbisa (both Anaheim Ducks) and Yannick Weber (Montreal Canadiens) are natural candidates to take part in Vancouver, and World Championship veterans Andres Ambühl (Hartford Wolf Pack, AHL), Martin Gerber (Atlant Mytishchi, KHL) and Severin Blindenbacher (Färjestad Karlstad, Sweden) look strong to be on the Olympic roster, which will be announced at the end of the calendar year.
Krueger didn’t include any surprising names on Tuesday’s list. Most have plenty of international experience and only one newcomer was added with 33-year-old Hnat Domenichelli.
The Edmonton-born forward knows Vancouver’s GM Place well. He played 267 games in the NHL before coming to Switzerland in 2003. Because he is married to a Swiss citizen, Domenichelli was naturalized in June.
Could Domenichelli become a part in Krueger’s puzzle when the Swiss play Canada, USA and Norway in the preliminary round of the 2010 Olympics? The world will have to wait four months for that answer.
Switzerland’s roster for the kick-off event
Goalkeepers (4): Leonardo Genoni (Davos), Daniel Manzato (Rapperswil-Jona), Ronnie Rüeger (Kloten), Tobias Stephan (Geneva-Servette).
Defencemen (10): Goran Bezina (Geneva-Servette), Rafael Diaz (Zug), Félicien Du Bois (Kloten), Beat Forster (Davos), Philippe Furrer (Bern), Beat Gerber (Bern), John Gobbi (Geneva-Servette), Roman Josi (Bern), Mathias Seger (ZSC Lions), Patrick von Gunten (Kloten).
Forwards (19): Patrik Bärtschi (ZSC Lions), Duri Camichel (Zug), Thomas Déruns (Servette), Paul DiPietro (Zug), Hnat Domenichelli (Lugano), Ryan Gardner (ZSC Lions), Peter Guggisberg (Davos), Sandy Jeannin (Fribourg), Romano Lemm (Lugano), Thibaut Monnet (ZSC Lions), Thierry Paterlini (Rapperswil-Jona), Martin Plüss (Bern), Marc Reichert (Bern), Kevin Romy (Lugano), Ivo Rüthemann (Bern), Raffaele Sannitz (Lugano), Julien Sprunger (Fribourg), Roman Wick (Kloten), Thomas Ziegler (Bern).