Mats Zuccarello

Norway Olympic hockey team guided by top New York Rangers scorer

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These could be the first Olympics with at least one NHL player on every hockey team.

Thank Mats Zuccarello. Norway’s only NHL player on the roster announced Tuesday is a talented one.

Zuccarello, 26, leads the New York Rangers in points. He also played for Norway at the 2010 Olympics, where the nation earned style points for its chic jerseys but ultimately failed to win a game.

He was in hot water in 2013 and in jeopardy of not being put on the Olympic Team because he had a sponsorship with a company that rivaled one of the Norwegian National Team’s sponsors.

Olympic hockey rosters: U.S. | Canada | Russia | Sweden | Finland | Czech Republic | Slovakia | Switzerland | Latvia | Norway | Austria | Slovenia

Norway has never made it past the Olympic quarterfinals, but it has now qualified for two straight Winter Games after missing 1998, 2002 and 2006.

Here’s the full Norway roster:

Goalies
Lars Haugen
Steffen Soberg
Lars Volden

Defensemen
Jonas Holos — former Colorado Avalanche player
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen — former NHL player
Alexander Bonsaksen
Henrik Odegaard
Henrik Solberg
Daniel Sorvik
Mats Trygg

Forwards
Mats Zuccarello — New York Rangers
Patrick Thoresen — former NHL player
Morten Ask
Anders Bastiansen
Robin Dahlstrom
Kristian Forsberg
Mads Hansen
Marius Holtet
Sondre Olden
Ken Andre Olimb
Mathis Olimb
Mats Rosseli Olsen
Niklas Roest
Martin Roymark
Per-Age Skroder

Hockey player breaks record for span between Winter Olympics

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
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For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January are LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Love is the only name from that list of healthy players with Olympic experience. Faried is the only player from that list who suited up at the 2014 World Cup, starting all nine games.

At London 2012, the U.S. started NBA small forwards LeBron James and Kevin Durant at the forward spots in all eight games, with another small forward, Carmelo Anthony, bringing similar versatility off the bench.

MORE: Why Candace Parker was left off Olympic team

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium