Many of you have read Scott Burnside's article about the Team USA selection process. (If you haven't, it's here). I haven't used the links as a soapbox for a while (and missed the big thread on Thursday), so here we go...
- Seth Jones was touted as a potential dark horse by the talking heads, but was ultimately left off of the final roster. I'm okay with this (for now). Brian Burke's comment that he had a "dream" that a mistake from Jones cost Team USA a medal was inappropriate. I expect that Jones will become a fixture on every US Olympic team from 2018 to the end of his career. Same goes for Jacob Trouba.
- Kyle Okposo and Keith Yandle never seemed to be under serious consideration at any point in the selection process, which is baffling. Selecting Blake Wheeler over Okposo is super baffling.
- I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of Cam Fowler. Here's to peaking at the right time!
- Also surprised by the presences of John Carlson. People have compared this team to the 1980 Miracle on Ice team, but as a more recent hockey fan, I am reminded of the 2010 World Juniors team (Carlson, Fowler, Derek Stepan, Justin Faulk, etc).
- Also glad that USA Hockey has finally (sort of) realized that Jack Johnson is a mediocre defenseman.
- The inclusion of Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik seems to suggest that Dan Bylsma wants to move the Penguins' system defense to the big ice.
- Bobby is one of the most prominent American forwards in the game. Regardless of concerns about his skating, he's represented the US well in international competition before, and deserved to be on the team. As Robby said in the thread, it seems as though Burke's personal disdain for him kept him off the team.
- A final note, related to Bobby: As we all know, Team USA talent pool simply isn't as deep as Team Canada's. Regardless of the effectiveness of the system, you can't expect to beat Sidney Crosby and Co. with mediocre players. Team USA really should have picked the most talented players available.
And now, the links...
- Nic Kerdiles and Team USA were eliminated by Russia in the quarterfinals of the World Junior Hockey Championships (vs Russia, 5-3). Kerdiles was Team USA's leading scorer, with 2 goals and 5 assists during the tournament. [Bucky's 5th Quarter]
- The Ducks are staying with Jakob Silfverberg on the top line. [NHL.com]
- Jonas Hiller has been named one of the NHL's Three Stars for December. [Fox News]
- KISS will perform during the first intermission of the Stadium Series game. [The Celebrity Café]
- The Ducks want to keep building momentum in the second half of the season. [OC Register]
AROUND THE NHL
- Wednesday's Winter Classic made Canadian TV ratings history, and was watched by 8.2 million people in North America. [Puck Daddy]
- Shane Doan could be back in the Phoenix Coyotes' lineup this weekend. [Yahoo! Sports]
- Canada will announce the Sochi Olympic team Tuesday morning at the Toronto Maple Leafs' practice rink. [The Hockey News]
- Team USA GM David Poile is "trying to apologize" to Bobby Ryan. [CBS Sports]
- The Detroit Red Wings have recalled defenseman Alexey Marchenko from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins. [The Hockey News]