Team USA’s final World Cup of Hockey roster additions were announced on Friday evening and, well, they reaffirmed that John Tortorella is the head coach.
Seven players were added, highlighted below. They join the 16 previous selected to the team on March 2, as chosen by management group that includes old-school names like Dean Lombardi, Paul Holmgren, Brian Burke, Jim Johannson and John Tortorella. Please keep that in mind as you read the following:
G Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning
G Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
G Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils
D Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets
D John Carlson, Washington Capitals
D Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche *
D Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets *
D Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers
D Matt Niskanen, Washington Capitals *
D Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
F Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings
F David Backes, St. Louis Blues *
F Ryan Callahan, Tampa Bay Lightning *
F Brandon Dubinsky, Columbus Blue Jackets *
F Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
F Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks
F T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
F Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens
F Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild
F Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
F Derek Stepan, New York Rangers
F James van Riemsdyk, Toronto Maple Leafs *
F Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
“When it came right down to it, it was very difficult to settle on a final roster,” said Dean Lombardi, general manager of the Los Angeles Kings, in a statement. “That’s a testament to how far we’ve come in hockey in our country. It’s a tribute to the players and all the volunteers, particularly coaches, in communities across the country that help make hockey as strong as it is today.”
Yeah yeah yeah … it’s also a tribute to the fact that John Tortorella likes guys who played for John Tortorella. So instead of a Tyler Johnson, we get a Brandon Dubinsky. Instead of a Phil Kessel – PHIL KESSEL! – we get a Ryan Callahan on a team that already has Justin Abdelkader.
(JVR makes the cut. Phil Kessel doesn’t. Brian Burke is a senior advisor. OK then.)
On top of that, Justin Faulk, one of he finest young American defensemen, and offensively potent Kevin Shattenkirk are left off the roster in favor of both Jack Johnson and Erik Johnson. Please recall that Jack Johnson was a finalist for Team USA in Sochi, partially because Predators GM David Poile had a dream that the team lost because he wasn’t there. Seriously.
Here was our final roster projection.
The one we ended up with feels like a team that’s designed to play a conservative defensive game against the likes of Canada in the hopes of grinding out a 1-0 win in front of a stellar goalie. U-S-A!
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