- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Security concerns for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi continue to be a hot topic of conversation among NHL players.
In the past, many athletes have brought their families with them to the Olympic Games, but this time some are debating whether it will be a safe venue because of growing concerns of terrorist threats.
"I told my family not to go, but my mom wants to go so I can't stop her. I would prefer if she didn't go," said Bruins forward David Krejci, who is representing the Czech Republic. "I understand everybody who doesn't want their families to go. It's a scary situation. I'm sure the Russian president is going to take care of everything and he'll make the Olympic Games safe, but we'll see what happens."
The Bruins will be well-represented during the Winter Games. Besides Krejci, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will serve as captain for Slovakia and will also carry his country's flag during the Opening Ceremonies. Forwards Patrice Bergeron (Canada), Loui Eriksson (Sweden) and goaltender Tuukka Rask (Finland) will all represent their countries in Sochi.
"I've been reading papers and watching TV, so I know there's been a lot of talk about it. I know [the United States] have sent lots of military people over there, so it's going to be interesting," Krejci said. "You kind of don't know what you're getting into, but I'm sure they're going to do everything they can to make it safe."
When asked if it would be tough to focus on playing, Krejci said: "That's a good question, but I guess we have to wait and see. Once we get there and see military people everywhere then it's going to be tough to focus, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be fine. All the athletes will be at the village, so I'm pretty sure it's going to be fine."
For Team Canada, Bruins coach Claude Julien will serve as an assistant coach, and general manager Peter Chiarelli as a team adviser. Julien said he and his wife are trying to figure out whether she will join her husband on the Olympic trip.
"That's still a debate right now," Julien said. "Not my family. If anything, it will be my wife, but that's still under debate right now. There is concern, like anybody else, but there's concern like that everywhere else. I think it's been exposed more because of what it represents, but it's a decision we'll make later."
As far as Chara is concerned, since he'll carry his country's flag during the Opening Ceremonies, the Bruins are allowing him to leave early to participate in the ceremonies, but it's not known if he'll miss one or two games at this point.
"We don't know the schedule yet and I don't think he knows, either," Julien said. "There's still that question mark whether it's going to be one or two."
7dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald