All-Snub Team: Could an international squad of Olympic outcasts win gold?

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

Written by Harrison Mooney and Greg Wyshynski/Puck Daddy

[INT -- Secret Meeting Room, Somewhere in North America]

One by one they entered the darkly lit room, candlelight illuminating their scarred and broken faces. An air of disappointment gave way to acknowledgment, which gave way to unfettered anger at their lots in life.

“ARRRRRRGH!” growled captain Joe Thornton, sharks teeth adorning his chest. “’Tis a travesty those scalawags couldn’t see the Olympic talent gathered here in this room.”

“I won the Cup of Ages, and they left me home in favor of a Coyote!” lamented The Crow.

"They claimed I spent too many moons seafaring!" said Daniel Boyle.

“Я Misss мой друг Александр (I miss my friend Alexander),” said Sasha The Red.

"Chris Kunitz. Seriously? Chris Kunitz?" pondered JamesBeard.

"Perchance they were afeared that I'd score four versus Austria, and unleash my rooster," Thornton murmured. “BUT HERE’S WHAT WE DO! I says we band together, the men left behind, the heroes without a home. I says we go to that god-forsaken frozen land..."

(Sergei Gonchar picks his teeth with a sword. Sasha The Red looks at his laces like he was trying to locate an Eric Staal pass.)

Thornton continued: “... And we steal those bastards’ gold right from under their Lilli-livers! What say ye, boys? What say ye to becoming Snubland?"

"No," said Robert Ryan.

All eyes turned on him. Was this a power play? Since when is he around for those?

"Not Snubland. The Sovereign Nation of Unpicked Brethren. S.N.U.B."

Thornton nodded, as all gathered knew of Ryan's incredible gift for acronyms and spelling. Captain Jumbo bellowed:

“WHAT SAY YE, YE S.O.B.'s, TO BECOMING S.N.U.B.’s?”

One by one, the men threw their sticks on the table in solidarity, save for Victor Hedman, who speared Sean Bergenheim in the stomach before tossing his into the pile.

They were no longer outcasts. They were legion. And they were going to Sochi to pillage the gold they felt had been stolen from them.

Here now are the men of S.N.U.B. Tremble at their mere mention ...

Forwards

Sean Bergenheim, Finland
Logan Couture, Canada
Claude Giroux, Canada
Taylor Hall, Canada
Patric Hornqvist, Sweden
Jiri Hudler, Czech Republic
James Neal, Canada
Kyle Okposo, USA
Bobby Ryan, USA
Alex Semin, Russia
Eric Staal, Canada
Marty St. Louis, Canada
Joe Thornton, Canada
Radim Vrbata, Czech Republic

Sean Avery would love this group, seeing as how it’s built on Canadian sloppy seconds …

Joe Thornton’s the No. 1 center. We’d have James Neal as his triggerman and play them with Logan Couture.

The second line? Taylor Hall, Claude Giroux and Marty St. Louis. Next!

A line of Bobby Ryan, Eric Staal and Alex Semin would make for an excellent third line, what with Staal and Semin having played together and Ryan being an excellent bottom six player according to everyone except Team USA.

Finally, we can roll with a “checking” line of Bergeheim, Hudler and Okposo, with Vrbata and Hornqvist ready to contribute.

Defense

Dan Boyle, Canada R
Jonas Brodin, Sweden L
Mark Giordano, Canada L
Sergei Gonchar, Russia L
Victor Hedman, Sweden L
Jack Johnson, USA L
Brent Seabrook, Canada R
Keith Yandle, USA L

It's a mobile, strong, and productive group on the back-end for S.N.U.B. The shutdown pair sees Brent Seabrook patrolling the ice with Victor Hedman, who has quietly -- and, apparently, unbeknownst to his country -- become the top-pairing defender many believed he could be. When Brent Seabrook is the small guy, you're doing it right.

After that, S.N.U.B. rectifies America's error, putting Keith Yandle in an Olympic top-four where he belongs. Heck, this guy would have made Team Canada if he wasn't born 300 miles too south.

A smart, third pairing of Sergei Gonchar and the the savvy, steady Mark Giordano, who will politely be asked to move over, rounds out the starters, with Jack Johnson and Jonas Brodin waiting in the wings.

Goalies

Ben Bishop, USA
Corey Crawford, Canada
Cory Schneider, USA

We’d most likely go with Crawford first, putting Schneider in the familiar position of stepping up to the crease when the other guy falters. Bishop is arguably the hottest goalie not on an Olympic roster, and will ride in the No. 3 hole for S.N.U.B.

So there it is ... the S.N.U.B team that could sail into Sochi and leave with untold riches. All under the watchful command of their pirate leader ...