Honestly, I wouldn't care if they just axed the whole thing. Just so hard to care about this tournament.
If the NHL had any brains for next year at least they should reformat The Winter Classic so that they play a triple header at Yankee Stadium between the best from Canada and the USA, along with Sweden-Finland, Russia-Czech/Slovakia (combine them). What a tripleheader of hockey that would be. Charge separate admission for Canada-US, instant sellout with incedible hype coming of the 2010 Olympics. You could also play in the World Juniors too to help hype that event. Take one of the US games for the juniors and play it in Ralph Wilson December 31st against Canada.
Man you talk about hockey hype, New Years Eve US-Canada World Jr say on ESPN 2 and then USA-Canada Winter Classic on NBC, enormous ratings again. Do it Bettman.
i will post my roster soon, do you think any of these players will be mad about being snubbed in the olympics.. like a hainsey or a gilbert?
Honestly, with the exception of Craig Anderson, I don't know who you can say what Americans got "snubbed" in selecting the Olympic team. And even then, making a case for Anderson to be included over Quick is hardly an easy one.
In hindsight, yes, someone else should have been picked over Ryan Whitney. But at time, he was the most logical choice. Maybe Hainsey would have done a better job, or Scuderi. But we needed a puck-moving defenseman to replace a puck-moving defenseman and Whitney was the best of that bunch. And before you throw names like Bogosian or Ballard at me, keep in mind I'm going purely off the list of guys invited to orientation camp. Burke was not going to go off that list unless it was incredibly obvious.
I would not be surprised to see Whitney and Kessel play in the worlds because their performances at the Olympics have been criticized (although I think in Kessel's case it's unfair). Neither of their teams will make the playoffs and they probably feel like they have something to prove. Aside from that, I can't see anyone on the Olympic team playing in the Worlds. They're probably burned-out on international play right now.
Big question is who will play in goal for us. Our big five (Miller, Quick, Anderson, Thomas, and Howard) will be in the playoffs (yes, I think the Red Wings will eventually make it). Doubtful the Islanders would let DiPietro even consider playing. Does the job fall to Esche, Conklin, and Clemmensen?
With the playoff picture a bit more clear, here's my updated team only using the teams currently out of the playoff picture:
Robert Esche (starter)
Keith Ballard - Erik Johnson
Ron Hainsey (A) - Zach Bogosian
Jack Hillen - James Wisniewski
David Booth - TJ Oshie - Phil Kessel
Kyle Okposo - David Backes (A) - Bobby Ryan
RJ Umberger - Brandon Dubinsky - Ryan Callahan (C)
Eric Nystrom - Todd Marchant - Ryan Potulny
Head Coach: Scott Gordon Assistants: Todd Richards
I made a few guesses here on who would and wouldn't accept spots and even then I was generous on the would accept ones most likely. I think Gleason, Drury, Malone, Modano, Tkachuk, and Whitney would turn down invites. I think it's going to be a tough sell on the Olympic guys to come back for this tournament too but the returnees would all be younger guys that I think would all play. The outdoor game against Germany in front of 70K+ should be a selling point.
If we got anything close to the team above I'll be very happy. That would be a strong team outside of a true #1 goalie but Esche/Conklin are capable of playing well long enough for this team to do well.
Obviously there will be guys that become available after the first/second rounds to make the available pool stronger. I just hope whoever is running this show doesn't do what they did last time and take guys like Peter Harrold or Colin Stuart early when we had guys like Parise become available and publicly state that they wanted to play but we had already filled up the team. I'd rather risk only having 7 D and 12 F instead of the 8 and 14 allotted if it meant we could potentially get prominent contributors a bit later. And if so many guys are turning down invites that even with the additions after the first and second rounds of the playoffs we'd be short, I'd rather take younger players like Jamie McBain than fringe NHL players that are older.
Out of the Blues players, I really hope EJ takes the invite. From having missed last season, the more hockey the better for him to catch up on time missed. I've caught a couple St. Louis games here recently and Erik has looked dominant and the stats seem to support that as well. I'm not sure how worn out he is given the long season after a devastating knee injury.
I'd be shocked if Backes accepted. He has a family and he's always answered the bell when Team USA has called. He deserves the time off if he wants it.
TJ Oshie, while not officially an Olympian, better take a spot. It will help his development as a player and with USA Hockey. I just hope he doesn't let the disappointment of not making the Olympic team - which he shouldn't have - convince him to turn down the invite.
But I agree. Other than some of the young bucks like Kessel, Ryan, etc. I'd be surprised to see many of the guys accept invites.
I'm still surprised that USA Hockey hasn't named any of the management staff or coaches yet. It'll be interesting to see when names start leaking out on having accepted/denied invites. The tournament is starting a few weeks later this year though so that could be a part of it.
Burkie talking on the radio now...sounds like he'll be involved in the World Championships...but he asked Ron Wilson if he was interested and he's not...needs down time...
no coach set yet
Thanks for the heads up Big Blue. I'm glad Burkie will be involved in some capacity again. He's done a hell of a job for USA Hockey in the past year. No surprise on Wilson. And I prefer it that way as it will give some other coaches some experience.
Kevin Allen of USA Today, who is pretty much always spot on when talking about USA Hockey, says that (not surprisingly) Scott Gordon is the leading candidate for the coaching job. Other coaches available are Todd Richards (Minnesota) and John Tortorella (NYR). I don't think Torts would go nor would they ask him. Richards is probably a prime assistant coach candidate for the team. It would be interesting if the Avs missed the playoffs and Joe Sacco was available but I'd think that they'd have a coach in place by the time that happened.
The club is still chasing Norwegian forward Mats Zuccarello-Aasen, who likely won't sign with any NHL club until after the world championships, which begin in May. While it hasn't been announced, Burke will be the GM of the U.S. entry in that competition.
it's good that Burkie will do that...it may attract some on the fence types...
some guys may feel Burkie will be the GM for a World Cup or next Olympics so they'd better answer the bell now if he asks them to go to the World Championships...
just ask Tim Connoly about that LOL
and, all the HF users who bash him aside, American born players do like him...and players he's had with former clubs like him...he's a straight shooter, he stands up for his guys, he's loyal...and earned respect from the Stanley Cup and winning Olympic silver with a young team.
So far I like the coaching decsions.....Richards is solid as well as Gordon. It would be interesting to see if Philly missed the playoffs and Peter Laviolette does become available....I am sure he wouldnt want to be an assistant for this club, but it could very well be a tryout for him as well for the World Cup and next Olympics...same for Tortorella.
The US is finally starting to put out top notch coaches as well, so I really dont feel we can go wrong with the available coaches currently at our disposal.
As for the team, I would venture to say, like the rest of you guys, this team is going to be young. I dont want to automatically assume anyone that played in the Olympics will not be available for us, but you certainly have to rule out a good number of them.
I figured Ryan Malone wouldnt go, and it looks that way...if the Rangers miss, no chance Drury goes as well. This team is going to be lacking veteran leadership, unless guys like Chris Clark, Brian Pothier, RJ Umberger, or even Jason Blake can't answer the call. Not sure who will even be above the age of 26 for the US, but I still think Burke is going to be able to fill out a talented enough roster to keep the momentum going and be a medal contender.
As of now, we now know the US will NOT be getting the aid of either Jimmy Howard or Craig Anderson. Either one of those guys would have been a Godsend for this squad, but unfortunately they have more NHL business to attend to. So, the weight falls on Ty Conklin, Though he is no spring chicken, a solid WC tourney could vault him into a better situation overall next year....same goes for Clemmenson. As much as Scott has had such a bad year, I would still chew an arm off to have him on this team compared to what we had last year...Esche excluded. Clemmenson will be fighting for an NHL job next season, so I think he comes around a bit more this time around. As for Esche, he seems to be our go to guy lately. He is still a NHL calibre goalie, but is happy making more money in the KHL right now. If we can truly get Esche, Conklin, and Clemmenson (or hell, even Cory Schnieder), I think we will do fairly well.
As for the dmen, I think this area might actually be a strength. It will be a young core group, but the talent is surely there. Guys like Bogosian, Hainsey, Gilbert, Niskanen, Hillen, Whitney, Wisniewski, Gilroy, Chorney, Ballard, Lundin, etc all are going to be trying to continue making a name for themselves for the upcoming World Cup, and 2014 Olympics. The wild card is Erik Johnson, who should accept a role on this team, and continue to work on a solid season and a lost season last year. If EJ does come on board, our chances improve greatly imo.
A couple of kids that I have been very impressed with are; Dylan Reese and Jamie Mcbain. At this point, McBain looks to be a future top pairing dman. The kid plays the game as smooth as Paul Martin did at their respective ages...and imo, McBain has even more offensive upside. I would be utterly shocked if McBain does not get asked to play for the US, and a great showing would do even more wonders for this kid.
As for Reese, he has looked very smooth and confident as well. Though I think his upside is much less then McBain, I still feel Reese is showing just how capable he is at being a solid 2-way dman. He has nice hands, vision, and smooth skating to boot. He might be on the outside looking in right now, but I wouldnt be upset if they gave this kid a shot as well.
The forwards are deep, but that is counting on a few players who represented the US in Vancouver. Not sure if Kessel, Ryan, Backes, or Callahan want to suit up again this year; and I would bank on Drury and Malone saying no. I hope and pray at least 2 of those 4 do indeed accept offers to play for the US; and my gut says Bobby Ryan and Ryan Callahan will. Bobby and Burke have a solid past with one another, and the way Ryan has played, I think the kid wants to keep the hot hand going for a few more games. Callahan is an energy player that will have plenty of guys to battle with for final roster spots in 2011 and 2014...another answer the call and solid performance could almost lock him in for 2011 here. Kessel seems like he wouldnt do it again, and Backes looks to have run out of gas as well.
My ultimate hopes fall on these key forwards: RJ Umberger, T.J Oshie, Kyle Okposo, David Booth, Brandon Dubinsky and Patrick O'Sullivan. All of these guys need to answer the call, and this group would almost make up our top 6 forwards if the names above dont answer the call. I also hope that Ryan Potulny, Eric Nystrom, and Jim Slater can answer the call as well...as all can play up tempo gritty hockey that we will need on our 3rd and 4th lines.
Overall, this team is going to have to win the way we did in the Olympics; out hustle, out heart, and out work our opposition. If the younger Olympians do indeed answer the call, then I have high expectations for this team, if they dont, then I will just keep my fingers crossed and hope they gell quickly, and then get some help after first round eliminations..