Dec 30, 2013, 12:56 PM EDT
It appears the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team will not include any players with multiple Olympics under their belt for the first time since NHLers were allowed into the Winter Games in 1998.
The 2010 roster, dubbed young and somewhat inexperienced, surprised by winning a silver medal. It beat Canada in preliminary play and nearly did it again in the gold-medal game, falling on Sidney Crosby‘s overtime goal.
The Sochi team is expected to bring back the stars from 2010 — including tournament all-stars goalie Ryan Miller and forward Zach Parise – among as many as 17 players from the 25-man roster (plus two injury replacements) in Vancouver.
The entire squad will be announced at the conclusion of the Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings at The Big House in Ann, Arbor, Mich., on New Year’s Day.
Here are three burning questions going into the announcement:
1. Who will be the No. 3 goalie?
It “looked good” to be Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, according to a report Sunday citing an unnamed person with “knowledge of the selection process.”
That isn’t concrete at all but must be noted. Howard is thought to be in the running for the spot with the Lightning’s Ben Bishop and the Devils’ Cory Schneider. He was expected to return to game action Monday after not playing since Dec. 10 due to a knee injury.
2010 Olympic goalies Jonathan Quick and Miller are expected to be the top two, in some order. The third goalie from the 2010 Olympic team, Tim Thomas, is considered a longshot at age 39.
Bishop is the hot hand choice. He leads all American NHL goalies in goals-against average and save percentage this season and was the backup to John Gibson on the 2013 World Championships team that won bronze.
Howard started at the 2012 World Championships, where the U.S. was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Bishop or Schneider, both 27, would also be preferable to Howard, 29, if age plays a factor. A third goalie usually only sees time in the case of disastrous showings and is a good use of a roster spot for a player to get the “Olympic experience.”
Quick was the third goalie in 2010 at age 24.
2. Do promising teens Seth Jones and Alex Galchenyuk have a shot?
The outlook is not good for either. Jones or Galchenyuk, both 19, would be the youngest U.S. Olympic men’s hockey players since 1992.
Jones, the Predators defenseman and son of retired NBA player Popeye Jones, has seen his ice time dip from 25 minutes per game in October to 22 minutes in November and 15 in December. Keep in mind, though, that Jones plays for U.S. Olympic general manager David Poile in Nashville.
Galchenyuk, the Canadiens forward and son of a 1998 Belarusian Olympic hockey player, scored 10 goals with 12 assists in his first 40 games this season. The 22 points ranked third on the Canadiens despite playing 15 minutes per game.
His statistics give him a better chance than Jones, but the U.S. has plenty of experienced and capable forwards at its disposal. It might simply be a case of not enough room for the young Galchenyuk.
3. Who else is on the roster bubble?
The U.S. is expected to go with 14 forwards and eight defensemen with the former presenting a clearer picture two days before the roster announcement.
It would be surprising to see any of these nine forwards from the 2010 Olympic team not make the cut — David Backes, Dustin Brown, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan and Paul Stastny.
Another 2010 Olympian, Ryan Callahan, is a little bit of a question mark with an MCL sprain that’s kept him out since Dec. 10. He’s hopeful of a mid-January return.
T.J. Oshie, Max Pacioretty and James van Riemsdyk are the leading newcomers. The real questions come from other would-be rookie Olympians, a list that includes but is not limited to Kyle Okposo, Brandon Saad, Derek Stepan and Blake Wheeler.
Questions abound on defense, where perhaps only Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk and Ryan Suter are safe selections at this point.
How valuable is Dustin Byfuglien‘s versatility? What is the importance of Jack Johnson‘s experience with USA Hockey? What about Paul Martin (out since Nov. 25 with a fractured tibia) and Brooks Orpik (back after missing three weeks with a concussion), who play for U.S. Olympic coach Dan Bylsma on the Penguins?
No matter the roster, perhaps only Canada will have greater overall talent than the U.S. Hockey Canada will announce its team on Jan. 7.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:24 PM EDT
It marked Jorgensen’s largest margin of victory in her World Triathlon Series career.
Mar 28, 2015, 8:42 PM EDT
But they haven’t decided on the 2018 Olympics.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT
Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir and Tracy Wilson are on the call.
Mar 28, 2015, 2:24 PM EDT
How they fared against World champion Simone Biles.
Mar 28, 2015, 11:44 AM EDT
“I don’t know if it’s going to ever happen again.”
Mar 28, 2015, 10:53 AM EDT
Next year, Tuktamysheva can go for a feat not seen since 2001.
Mar 27, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT
The U.S. has a new former NHL player as head coach, is missing a major Sochi star and hopes to end a losing streak to Canada.
Mar 27, 2015, 10:13 AM EDT
The Olympic champions are slated to compete for the first time since London 2012 this weekend.
Mar 27, 2015, 9:54 AM EDT
The U.S. men are unlikely to secure three spots for the 2016 World Championships.
Mar 27, 2015, 9:53 AM EDT
A French couple became the youngest World champions in 40 years.
Mar 26, 2015, 10:14 AM EDT
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva landed a triple Axel in one of the greatest short programs of all time.
Mar 26, 2015, 10:01 AM EDT
The last time Canada won a World title in pairs was before the 2002 judging scandal.
Mar 25, 2015, 9:44 AM EDT
A slight improvement could mark the best U.S. pairs finishes since 2002.
Mar 25, 2015, 9:13 AM EDT
Bolt’s last appearance in New York produced his first world record.
Mar 25, 2015, 8:53 AM EDT
The Olympians could become the second U.S. ice dance couple to win a World Championship.
Mar 24, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT
The Olympic and World champion returns to the site of a bloody collision.
Mar 24, 2015, 10:11 AM EDT
Boston will not move forward with an Olympic bid if a majority of state and city residents don’t support it.
Mar 24, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
Olympians Erin Hamlin, Chris Mazdzer star in an inside look at the sport.
Mar 24, 2015, 9:27 AM EDT
Tuesday marked 500 days out from the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Mar 23, 2015, 5:50 PM EDT
Three U.S. women have a shot at the podium, and an American ice dance couple could win gold.
- Meryl Davis, Charlie White won’t compete next season 0
- Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman competitive with U.S. teammates in comeback 0
- Javier Fernandez wins upset World Championship; top American fourth 0
- Elizaveta Tuktamysheva wins World Championship; U.S. just misses medals 0
- How to watch Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman’s comeback gymnastics meet 0
- Yuzuru Hanyu tops World Championships short program; Jason Brown leads Americans 0
- U.S. women struggle, trail Russian brilliance after World Championships short program 2
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)