2014 - U.S. Roster Discussion (Part II)
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04-09-2013, 10:50 PM
Smokes, Let's go
Join Date: Sep 2009
Originally Posted by
I dont see how USA Hockey leaves its current #2 and #3 goal scorers at home for Sochi. I see some rosters that have Oshie on the team, but imo he doesnt offer much more than what Callahan and Brown already bring. I cant recall the last time the US would leave their #2 and #3 goal scorers off of an Olympic team. I am talking about James van Riemsdyk and Blake Wheeler. At the very least, one of them makes this team..no doubt about it.
Well the real issue is look at the position they both play. JVR's a wing and so is Wheeler, though in Boston he played a bit of center.
The US is pretty deep on the wings and Callahan and Brown are players that were both there last time around, have had success before with USA Hockey, and are both captains of their team. We don't need the depth scoring and considering the drop of between Callahan/Brown isn't quite that much compared to JVR or Wheeler, Callahan and Brown get the nod. They are both excellent defensively and will play bottom six minutes, as part of a shut down team. Not to mention Callahan's one of the shot blockers and the game as well as being one of the best PKers.
Tack on the fact that they will probably carry five centers on the roster,
The problem is really this
Outside chance on Pominville, Oshie more likely
Then you have to fit in at center of shift it around, so...
Stepan(a serious candidate to replace Stastny or Pavelski.(Kesler, if unhealthy)
It's just a matter of running out of spots. Ryan, Parise, Patches, Kessel are all better scorers than Wheeler and JVR, and both those guys are primarily scorers. I mean they may be solid two-way players too, to boot, but Callahan put up nearly 30 last year and Brown's always good for 24 goals season and they both can shut guys down on the back end. Put them with, say, Kesler and Backes? A legitimate scoring threat on the third and/or fourth line with Selke caliber or a Selke candidate.
My guess is JVR and Wheeler get an invite, but are going to have go on a tear, through the playoffs and through November next year to at least be carried as the 13th forward.
There is however, a silver lining in all of this that is extremely redeeming and pleasing. Some Winnipeg fans are clamoring for Wheeler to get USA Hockey consideration, Leafs fans talking up JVR(though admittedly streaky), and Habs fans for Galchenyuk to get an automatic invite to camp. That's three tough Canadian markets, and all of those guys are succeeding, which says something about how they handle pressure. Maybe that counts for something. Who knows? It wouldn't shock me to see JVR there and/or Wheeler as the 13th, just because on a larger surface, their chances for success IMO increase.
The REAL silver lining I was referring to? In all honesty, this is the first time I can say that U.S. has an embarrassment of riches and can claim to be leaving off players due to roster limitation. I've never seen that, even last time around. Though we carried Langenbrunner, Malone, and the like, as part of the leadership core. This time around, we have at least a dozen locks for returners from Vancouver and unlimited line combinations with versatile forwards, mobile DMen, and arguably the best goaltending crop of any nation.
Can't wait for next year.
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