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U.S. Olympic Camp roster announced; who was snubbed for Sochi 2014?

Greg Wyshynski
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Now that the Canadians and Russians have released camp rosters for their inevitable Olympic runners-up in Sochi, USA Hockey has released its own 48-player pool from which the 2014 gold medal-winning team shall be plucked.

(Ed. Note: The author is from New Jersey. Deal with it.)

The roster represents 24 NHL teams, including three players – Seth Jones, John Gibson and Jacob Trouba – who have yet to appear in the League as professional players. U.S. Men's National Team Orientation Camp is from Aug. 26-27, at Kettler Capitals IcePlex in Arlington, Va.

Of the 48 players invited to the camp, 16 have previous Olympic experience. That includes Zach Parise and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild; Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks; Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings; and Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Let’s take a look at the camp roster, shall we?

Goalies

Craig Anderson Park Ridge, Ill. Ottawa Senators (NHL)
John Gibson Pittsburgh, Pa. Norfolk Admirals (AHL)
Jimmy Howard Syracuse, N.Y. Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Ryan Miller East Lansing, Mich. Buffalo Sabres (NHL)
Jonathan Quick Milford, Conn. Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Cory Schneider Marblehead, Mass. New Jersey Devils (NHL)

Miller was, of course, the starter for the U.S. team in 2010 in a star-making performance. Quick was his under-understudy, as Tim Thomas was not invited back.

Miller’s inclusion here makes for a rather interesting debate for U.S. starting goalie, as this is the position at which the Americans have a blessing of riches. Quick is the prohibitive favorite for the job; said Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who is part of the U.S. Olympic brain trust, last month: “Judging from our meeting, it’s certainly trending that way.”

But Ryan Miller was, uh, pretty incredible in Vancouver.

Anderson, Howard and Schneider will all push for roster spots. We’ll just go ahead and assume this is Gibson’s reward for his World Junior mastery.

Defense

Zach Bogosian Massena, N.Y. Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
Dustin Byfuglien Roseau, Minn. Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
John Carlson Colonia, N.J. Washington Capitals (NHL)
Dan DeKeyser Clay Township, Mich. Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Justin Faulk South St. Paul, Minn. Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
Cam Fowler Farmington Hills, Mich. Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
Jake Gardiner Minnetonka, Minn. Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Erik Johnson Bloomington, Minn. Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
Jack Johnson Ann Arbor, Mich. Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)
Seth Jones Plano, Texas Nashville Predators (NHL)
Nick Leddy Eden Prairie, Minn. Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Paul Martin Minneapolis, Minn. Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Ryan McDonagh St. Paul, Minn. New York Rangers (NHL)
Brooks Orpik San Francisco, Calif. Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Kevin Shattenkirk Greenwich, Conn. St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Ryan Suter Madison, Wis. Minnesota Wild (NHL)
Jacob Trouba Rochester, Mich. Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
Keith Yandle Boston, Mass. Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)

Remember: The Sochi Games will be held on an international ice surface. Does that mean someone like Brooks Orpik, a much better player on a smaller surface, might not make the cut? Potentially. But he’s also a player with plenty of experience on a team that needs it.

Lambert projected the starting six as Suter, Kevin Shattenkirk, Keith Yandle, Ryan McDonagh, Paul Martin and Dustin Byfuglien, with Jack Johnson and Justin Faulk in reserve. Personally, it’s hard to imagine Erik Johnson not making this roster, but we shall see.

SNUBS: Alex Goligoski would seem to be a glaring one, at least for a camp invite. Matt Carle had a terrible 2013 season, but many thought he’d get an invite here. Tim Gleason, Tom Gilbert and Ron Hainsey might have been deemed from another generation of American Olympian – all three are 30 or older. As for Rob Scuderi, what part of “international ice surface” didn’t you understand?

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader Muskegon, Mich. Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
David Backes Minneapolis, Minn. St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Beau Bennett Gardena, Calif. Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Nick Bjugstad Minneapolis, Minn. Florida Panthers (NHL)
Dustin Brown Ithaca, N.Y. Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Ryan Callahan Rochester, N.Y. New York Rangers (NHL)
Alex Galchenyuk Milwaukee, Wis. Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Patrick Kane Buffalo, N.Y. Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Ryan Kesler Livonia, Mich. Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Phil Kessel Madison, Wis. Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Trevor Lewis Salt Lake City, Utah Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Kyle Okposo St. Paul, Minn. New York Islanders (NHL)
T.J. Oshie Warroad, Minn. St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Max Pacioretty New Canaan, Conn. Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Kyle Palmieri Smithtown, N.Y. Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
Zach Parise Minneapolis, Minn. Minnesota Wild (NHL)
Joe Pavelski Plover, Wis. San Jose Sharks (NHL)
Bobby Ryan Cherry Hills, N.J. Ottawa Senators (NHL)
Brandon Saad Gibsonia, Pa. Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Craig Smith Madison, Wis. Nashville Predators (NHL)
Paul Stastny St. Louis, Mo. Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
Derek Stepan Hastings, Minn. New York Rangers (NHL)
James van Riemsdyk Middletown, N.J. Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Blake Wheeler Robbinsdale, Minn. Winnipeg Jets (NHL)

Again, it’s going to be interesting to see how the ice surface influences the roster. There’s a lot of speed here, and some significant offense in the younger players like Galchenyuk. How many role players do the Americans take vs. how many skill players to they bring to Sochi?

Lambert’s projections seem fairly bang-on, although one wonders if either T.J. Ohsie or Kyle Okposo can finally break through. Remember, sometimes it just takes one wake-up call to get a player’s stock on the rise; how great was Okposo for the New York Islanders in the playoffs last season?

SNUBS: Jason Pominville has dual citizenship; there has to be something more to him not getting an invite. Brandon Dubinsky is also among the most prominent, but one assumes the addition of Stepan made him expendable. Hey, just like with the Rangers! Invitees from 2009’s camp that didn’t come back this year included Ryan Malone of the Tampa Bay Lightning and David Booth of the Vancouver Canucks, whose stock has tumbled at an Enron-like level. All of these players can get together at a venue of their choosing and lament the fact they're not at camp and Trevor Lewis, inexplicably, is.

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