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Pavelski to Represent US on Olympic Team

Wednesday, 01.1.2014 / 2:45 PM PT / News
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Pavelski to Represent US on Olympic Team

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Four years ago the United States team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was young and inexperienced at the highest international level. The team named Wednesday by USA Hockey for the 2014 Sochi Olympics will not carry the same pre-tournament stigma.

Thirteen members of the silver-medal winning squad from Vancouver were named to the 25-man roster, which was announced on NBC immediately after the Bridgestone 2014 NHL Winter Classic.

Among the returnees are all of the players named as part of the “leadership group” by USA Hockey at the summer orientation camp: forwards David Backes, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan and Zach Parise, as well as defensman Ryan Suter. Also back is 2010 tournament MVP, goaltender Ryan Miller.

The strength up front for the American team appears to be on the wings. Parise, Patrick Kane and Phil Kessel are three of the top wings in the NHL, while Brown, Callahan, James van Riemsdyk, Max Pacioretty and Blake Wheeler offer a lot of skill, size and speed and T.J. Oshie is one of the best playmakers at the position.

Backes leads a group of five centers. Where they fit on the depth chart will be interesting to monitor. Paul Stastny, Ryan Kesler and Joe Pavelski were all in Vancouver. Derek Stepan is the lone newcomer of the bunch.

Suter will be the No. 1 defenseman for the Americans, and is a strong candidate to be among the tournament leaders in time on ice. The defense corps is the biggest area of turnover on the club. Only Suter and Brooks Orpik are returning.

Orpik and Paul Martin have been defense partners both at even strength and on the penalty kill for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Dan Bylsma, the Penguins coach, has coached the Penguins for multiple seasons. Both are currently injured, but any player can be replaced on the roster if he is unable to play before the start of the tournament.

The rest of the defense corps is a collection of some of the best young talents in the League at the position. All five, John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk, are 24 years old or younger.

While the men’s team won silver at the 2010 Games, the U-20 squad won gold at the IIHF 2010 World Junior Chamionship in Saskatchewan. Carlson scored the golden goal in overtime against the host Canadians, and Stepan was the leading scorer in that tournament with 14 points. Fowler was also on that team.

Miller and 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick have long been considered favorites for places on this team in net, and Jimmy Howard was named to the team just minutes after backstopping his Detroit Red Wings in the NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

The top players among the names not on the 25-man roster up are forwards Bobby Ryan, Brandon Dubinsky, Kyle Okposo and Jason Pominville. Ryan and Pominville are third and fourth in goals among American players this season with 18 and 17, while Okposo is second in points with 40. Dubinsky and Nick Bonino are the top centers who did not make it. Dustin Byfuglien and Keith Yandle, first and third among American-born defensemen, are not on the 25-man roster. Erik Johnson and Jack Johnson were both on the 2010 team, but are not returning.

Miller and Quick, despite his injury, were near-consensus picks in goal. But, there were a lot of candidates for the final spot. Cory Schneider and Ben Bishop have better statistics than Howard this season, but Howard's play during Detroit’s surprising run to within one win of the conference finals in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs likely helped his case.

The evaluation team, which is led by general manager David Poile and his assistants Stan Bowman, Ray Shero, Dean Lombardi, Brian Burke and Dale Tallon, made it clear early in the process that a player’s previous track record and where he would fit on the roster would have a large impact on the decisions.

Ryan, Okposo and Pominville are not considered to have elite skating ability, which clearly looks like a component the management team valued when picking the wings and could be a factor on the larger international ice surface. Those three are also do not kill penalties for their NHL clubs.

The Americans will take five left-handed shots and three righties among the defensemen, and Poile had previously suggested there might not be as much emphasis on left-right balance as some pundits suggested.

The United States will be in Group A with Russia, Slovakia and Slovenia in the preliminary round. The first game for the Americans is Feb. 13 against Slovakia.


# Forwards Club Height Weight DOB Birthplace
42 D. Backes STL 6'3" 221 5/1/1984 Minneapolis, MN
23 D. Brown LAK 6'0" 212 11/4/1984 Ithaca, NY
24 R. Callahan NYR 5'11" 180 3/21/1985 Rochester, NY
88 P. Kane CHI 5'11" 181 1/19/1988 Buffalo, NY
17 R. Kesler NYR 6'2" 202 8/31/1984 Livonia, MI
81 P. Kessel TOR 6'0" 202 10/2/1987 Madison, WI
74 T.J. Oshie STL 5'11" 189 12/23/1986 Warroad, MN
61 M. Pacioretty MTL 6'2" 219 11/20/1988 New Canaan, CT
9 Z. Parise MIN 5'11" 190 7/28/1984 Minneapolis, MN
8 J. Pavelski SJS 5'11" 190 7/11/1984 Plover, WI
26 P. Stastny COL 6'0" 205 12/27/1985 St. Louis, MO
21 D. Stepan NYR 6'0" 196 6/18/1990 Hastings, MN
21 J. van Riemsdyk TOR 6'3" 200 5/4/1989 Middletown, NJ
26 B. Wheeler WIN 6'5" 205 8/31/1986 Robbinsdale, MN


# DEFENSEMEN Club Height Weight DOB Birthplace
74 J. Carlson WSH 6'3" 212 1/10/1990 Colonia, NJ
27 J. Faulk CAR 6'0" 215 3/20/1992 South St. Paul, MN
4 C. Fowler ANA 6'1" 196 3/5/1991 Farmington Hills, MI
7 P. Martin PIT 6'1" 200 3/5/1981 Elk River, MN
27 R. McDonagh NYR 6'1" 213 6/13/1989 St. Paul, MN
44 B. Orpik PIT 6'2" 219 9/26/1980 Amherst, NY
22 K. Shattenkirk STL 5'11" 207 1/29/1989 Greenwich, CT
20 R. Suter MIN 6'1" 198 1/21/1985 Madison, WI


# GOALTENDERS Club Height Weight DOB Birthplace
35 J. Howard DET 6'0" 218 3/26/1984 Syracuse, NY
30 R. Miller BUF 6'2" 175 7/17/1980 East Lansing, MI
32 J. Quick LAK 6'1" 218 1/21/1986 Milford, CT


Author: Corey Masisak | Staff Writer




1 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
2 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
3 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
4 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
5 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
6 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
7 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


J. Thornton 82 19 63 25 82
J. Pavelski 82 38 40 25 78
B. Burns 82 27 48 -5 75
P. Marleau 82 25 23 -22 48
T. Hertl 81 21 25 16 46
J. Ward 79 21 22 -15 43
M. Vlasic 67 8 31 15 39
L. Couture 52 15 21 2 36
J. Donskoi 76 11 25 4 36
J. Braun 80 4 19 11 23
M. Jones 37 23 4 .918 2.27
A. Stalock 3 5 2 .884 2.94
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