Two times Michael: Grabner and Raffl celebrate a goal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Two NHLers commit for Olympic Qualification
The Austrian Ice Hockey Association named 29 players who will convene for the national team camp prior to the Final Olympic Qualification.
Head Coach Alpo Suhonen presented today the three goaltenders, 10 defencemen and 16 forward who will battle for a spot on the roster for the tournament. Among the players called to the team are NHL forwards Michael Grabner and Michael Raffl, three players from Swedish and one from a Swiss club and the remaining players from the eight Austrian teams in the EBEL. Another NHLer will be missing as Thomas Vanek won’t join the team.
“It is important that players like Grabner and Raffl will be back again. In the last tournaments we had issues in front of the net and scored too few goals. In Grabner and Raffl we have two players who have proven their scoring abilities in the NHL. That will also take pressure away from other players who can better unfold their game,” Suhonen said.
The team will meet in Vienna on 21st August and have a camp there including an exhibition game against Slovakia on 24th August followed by exhibition games in Oslo against Norway on 27th and 28th August.
Austria is seeded in Group E in Riga in the Final Olympic Qualification where the team will play host Latvia, Germany and Japan from 1st to 4th September.
Preliminary Roster Austria
David Kickert, Vienna Capitals
David Madlener, KAC Klagenfurt
Bernhard Starkbaum, Red Bull Salzburg
Mario Altmann, Black Wings Linz
Stefan Bacher, VSV Villach
Dominique Heinrich, Orebro HK (SWE)
Daniel Mitterdorfer, HC Innsbruck
Patrick Peter, Vienna Capitals
Markus Schlacher, VSV Villach
Martin Schumnig, KAC Klagenfurt
Stefan Ulmer, HC Lugano (SUI)
Clemens Unterweger, Graz 99ers
Layne Viveiros, Red Bull Salzburg
Mario Fischer, Vienna Capitals
Manuel Ganahl, KAC Klagenfurt
Manuel Geier, KAC Klagenfurt
Michael Grabner, New York Rangers (NHL)
Lukas Haudum, Malmo Redhawks (SWE)
Raphael Herburger, Red Bull Salzburg
Fabio Hofer, Black Wings Linz
Thomas Hundertpfund, KAC Klagenfurt
Konstantin Komarek, Malmo Redhawks (SWE)
Andreas Kristler, Red Bull Salzburg
Brian Lebler, Black Wings Linz
Daniel Oberkofler, Black Wings Linz
Nikolas Petrik, Dornbirner EC
Michael Raffl, Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
Thomas Raffl, Red Bull Salzburg
Rafael Rotter, Vienna Capitals