Michael Russo's Sunday Insider: The likely U.S. Olympic team

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 29, 2013 - 8:49 AM

The announcement is scheduled for New Year’s Day.

hide

Zach Parise was congratulated after scoring a goal against Switzerland at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. The Wild star is a lock to be back on Team USA in Sochi.

Photo: Julie Jacobson, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

On Wednesday, after the Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, the United States’ hierarchy, led by General Manager David Poile, will unveil the list of 25 players live on NBC who will represent the red, white and blue in Sochi.

It’s a good thing the USA’s first game at the Winter Olympics isn’t until Feb. 13 against Slovakia.

Several USA hopefuls, from shoo-ins Zach Parise (Wild), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles), David Backes (St. Louis) and Ryan Callahan (Rangers) to important Pittsburgh defensemen Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin to hopefuls such as Detroit’s Jimmy Howard and Colorado’s Paul Stastny, have been banged up or are currently sidelined.

All are expected to recover for the Olympics as the USA, guided by Dan Bylsma, aims to medal for the first time overseas with NHLers. In 1998 in Nagano, Japan, the Americans, coached by Ron Wilson, finished fifth. In 2006 in Turin, Italy, the Americans, coached by Peter Laviolette, finished eighth.

But in Salt Lake City in 2002, Herb Brooks coached the Americans to silver, as did Wilson in Vancouver four years ago.

Because the USA seems to struggle on the bigger, Olympic-sized ice sheet compared to the NHL surfaces, Poile and Bylsma have said their management team will analyze the type of player selected. On Wednesday, we’ll get a better sense of what they mean.

Here’s a look at the potential roster:

First, the shoo-ins up front (9): Parise, Backes, Callahan and Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown. They make up four members of the five-player leadership group. Next up: Chicago’s Patrick Kane, Toronto’s Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk, Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler and San Jose’s Joe Pavelski.

The shoo-ins on defense (4): the Wild’s Ryan Suter (fifth member of leadership group); the Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh; Martin; St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk.

The shoo-ins in goal (2): Quick and Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, who backstopped the Americans in Vancouver.

This leaves 10 other players. Here are few of the candidates:

Forward (can choose five): Montreal’s Max Pacioretty had a tremendous month that started with his hat trick against the Wild. Another player who could provide scoring and grit is St. Louis’ T.J. Oshie. The Rangers’ Derek Stepan will likely be there if for no other reason than the Americans aren’t deep up the middle. That’s why Stastny has a shot. Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler has gotten hot at the perfect time, and Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan represented the U.S. four years ago. The Wild’s Jason Pominville is on the outside. He has 17 goals, but unfortunately he can’t skate with his set-up man, Finn Mikael Granlund. Chicago’s Brandon Saad also has a shot.

Defense (can choose four): On the big ice, you need puck movers, and Anaheim’s dynamic Cam Fowler is the best of the youngsters. Carolina’s Justin Faulk, from South St. Paul, is likely a go. He moves well, sees the ice well, and is a terrific passer. Columbus’ Jack Johnson is likely, if for no other reason than he has worn the Team USA sweater 69 times. If Orpik is healthy, he has an outstanding shot. Bylsma loves him. Other defensemen right there include Washington’s John Carlson; Colorado’s Erik Johnson, who has had a terrific first half; Phoenix’s Keith Yandle; Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien; and if you want a puck mover, Chicago’s Nick Leddy.

Goalie (can choose one): Howard or New Jersey’s Corey Schneider, although Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop has a shot.

SHORT TAKES

Not even a fruit basket

San Jose GM Doug Wilson was disappointed Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown offered no remorse for his extended knee that left rookie phenom Tomas Hertl with a serious right knee injury.

“When I was a rookie, I was tripped into a net in Hartford by the great Gordie Howe, and injured and carried off the ice,” Wilson told Sharks reporters. “He came in between periods all the way around the rink to make sure I was OK. So, my response to the lack of, maybe, concern towards our player is disappointing.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 4 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Samardzija 8
San Francisco 5 Bottom 13th Inning
Los Angeles 2
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 5
Arizona 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close