General Talk '12 — U.S.A.
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03-26-2012, 12:36 PM
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hamilton Square
WC and Olympics - And Americans in Europe
In my opinion whether a player accepts or not should have very little effect on what the roster looks like for Sochi. The tournaments are two different beasts and should be viewed as such when trying to make a roster.
While some on here would fault guys for passing on the tournament it is tough to knock someone who is likely very diminished both physically and mentally after the NHL season (much longer and more grueling than any of the other European leagues).
In fact, in the past it has always looked like the USA squad has gone with younger players who had smaller roles with their teams - the Komisareks, Freddy Meyers, and Trevor Daleys of the world before they were logging big-time minutes.
It also seems that there is a tendency for the USA to look to players who were in the USA Hockey junior programs and had success.
That being the case, I'd imagine that the roster will reflect that this season as well - and that may be a good thing. In looking at the European teams of late, that have been so successful in recent years, many are missing their front line NHL guys but manage to compete using guys that are fresh and haven't had the pounding of some of the bigger names.
Along those lines, there are several Americans playing in Europe - and especially in Finland and Sweden - that might be considered for the team and could be effective in a short series tournament like the WC - without feeling the effects of both the NHL season (and in the case of the guys coming from teams that were beaten in the first round - a ten-hour flight as well).
Among the goalies with experience in Europe, Robert Esche has represented the USA at six tournaments and is coming off a strong playoff performance in Switzerland. Chris Holt played for Dynamo Riga and also in the Deutschland Cup for Team USA.
Like Esche, veterans Mike York and Andrew Hutchinson might provide some experience and would also likely appreciate the tournament more than some of the younger guys coming over from North America. And veteran Andy Roach had success with Team USA in the past
And it'd be interesting to see guys like Robbie Schremp and Robbie Earl who've had experience with Team USA in the past and have only played fifty or so games as opposed to the NHLers who've played 80+.
One-time Devils prospect Barry Tallackson as well as former NCAA stars Jeremy Dehner, Broc Little, and Ryan Gunderson, viewed as too small to be NHL prospects, might also be effective in this type of tournament.
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