Team USA leaves Phil Kessel, other vets off initial World Cup roster

Greg Wyshynski
USA
USA

Team USA named its initial group of players for the World Cup of Hockey in September, and some significant names from previous national teams are waiting for their call. 

Here’s what the roster looks like. The next seven players must be named by June 1.

GOALIES

Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

DEFENSE

Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets

John Carlson, Washington Capitals

Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers

Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild

FORWARDS

Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings

Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks

T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals

Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild

Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks

Derek Stepan, New York Rangers

Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets

A few thoughts …

* No Phil Kessel, no David Backes, no Ryan Callahan, no Brandon Dubinsky. Well, not yet at least. Kessel’s likely the biggest name not named to the forward group, but when the very plugged-in Kevin Allen doesn’t even have Kessel as a possibility for the team, something’s up. They can't leave those goals home, can they?

* Justin Abdelkader is a genuine surprise as a first-group inclusion. We know “tenacity” is the name of the game for this team, as once again the U.S. seeks to counter other country’s skill with hustle and players who are “difficult to play against.” Abdelkader brings that physical presence. He’s a John Tortorella type, and this is a John Tortorella team.

* The U.S. named three goalies that we all knew would end up being the goalies, so no mysteries there.

* Interesting times for Kevin Shattenkirk, Justin Faulk, Keith Yandle, Erik Johnson and Cam Fowler, as they see Byfuglien make the initial cut.

Here's the Team USA jersey:

Previously released 16-man rosters:

Team Russia

Team Finland

Team Czech Republic

Team Sweden

Team Europe 

Team North America

Team Canada

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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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