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Author Topic: U.S. Olympic Hockey  (Read 150 times)
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TheFugitive
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« on: November 29, 2017, 09:50:55 AM »

It's becoming less and less clear just who is going to be on the roster for the
U.S. Olympic Hockey Team in February.

For the first time in two decades the NHL has declined to let their players participate,
which immediately removes most of the well-known players from all national squads.

Most of the players were presumed to be coming from the KHL, the Russian professional
league.  A number of North American players actually signed contracts there expecting
that the league would allow them to join their national teams for the Olympics.

However, the Russian Olympic Federation is now caught in a major doping scandal,
and it looks like Russia is going to boycott the games unless the IOC withdraws their sanctions.
Since the KHL ownership has very tight ties to the Russian government it looks as if they
are now going to bar their players from participating if Russia decides to boycott.

That leaves a selection of second-tier leftovers from the minor leagues, college hockey, and various European leagues.  I don't expect to see any recognizable names on the roster, which cannot be good for ratings.

On the other hand all other countries will be in the same boat.  And if the Russians boycott that will pretty much throw the tournament wide-open as to who wins the gold.

The coach will be Tony Granato, longtime NHL player, former coach of the Colorado Avalanche and former assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins.   He is currently head coach of the University of Wisconsin Badgers.   His sister is Cammi Granato, two-time captain of the US Womens Olympic Hockey Team.
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BillyGr
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 11:29:26 AM »

Hmm... a team made up of college players could never win, could they? Wink

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TheFugitive
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 09:54:10 AM »

The IOC formally banned Russia from the games yesterday.
They said that Russian athletes could compete under the Olympic flag
but that the Russian flag and Russian National Anthem were out.

I suspect few if any Russian athletes will take them up on that offer.

This is likely to blow another major hole in the hockey tournament as it now
stands not only to lose NHL and KHL players, but may have to replace the entire
Russian team with another squad from a yet-undetermined country.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 01:48:57 PM »

The Team USA roster was announced yesterday (with the exception of 2 backup
goalies who will be named later).

Perhaps the most well-known is Brian Gionta, who played in the NHL for New Jersey,
Montreal and Buffalo, but was not signed to a contract this year.  Chris Bourque, son of
NHL Hall-Of-Famer Ray Bourque, is also on the team, as is long-time NHLer James
Wisnewski (who now plays in Germany).

The starting goaltender is Ryan Zapolski of Erie, Pennsylvania, who these days plies his trade in Helsinki, Finland.  The full roster can be viewed here.

http://teamusa.usahockey.com/page/show/3858372-2018-olympic-winter-games-u-s-men-s-roster
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