ANN ARBOR – Team USA unveiled their 2014 Winter Olympic Games men’s hockey roster, shortly after Toronto’s shootout win over Detroit in the 2014 Winter Classic.
There were some snubs, some new faces, and some returning members of the 2010 team.
First off are the forwards. The team features a nice blend of skilled scorers, as well as gritty defensive forwards. The forwards are Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks, Zach Parise of the Wild, Canucks center Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel of the Maple Leafs, James VanRiemsdyk of the Maple Leafs, Rangers winger Ryan Callahan, TJ Oshie of the Blues, Dustin Brown of the Kings, David Backes of the Blues, Joe Pavelski of the Sharks, Paul Stastny of the Avalanche, Max Pacioretty of the Canadiens, Blake Wheeler of the Jets, David Backes of the Blues, and Derek Stepan of the Rangers.
The most notable snub was Bobby Ryan of the Senators. Ryan is a pure goal scorer who was a key member of the 2010 team. His snubbing from the team came as a surprise to many. Overall, this is a solid group of forwards. With elite scorers like Kane and Kessel, as well as grinders like Oshie and Brown, this USA forward group has a good balance of finesse and toughness.
Next up are the defenseman. There are some new faces among these guys. They are a good blend of defensive and two way players. The defensemen are Ryan Suter of the Wild, Justin Faulk of the Hurricanes, Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik of the Penguins, Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers, Cam Fowler of the Ducks, Kevin Shattenkirk of the Blues, and John Carlson of the Capitals.
The most notable snubs here are Keith Yandle and Jack Johnson, both of whom are very talented. However, the group of defenseman is a talented one. There are guys who can contribute offensively, as well as some tough, strictly defensive guys.
There are many new faces to the national team among these defenseman, and it remains to be seen if they can handle the pressure of the Olympic games.
The goalies feature the 2010 starting goalie Ryan Miller, who was absolutely outstanding in those games, Jonathan Quick, and Jimmy Howard.
Miller will likely start, but Quick can easily step in if Miller struggles. Overall, this is a talented hockey team.
The USA management selected a lot of young talent to this team, and their handling of the pressure of these games will be key to the team’s overall performance.