December 20, 2005

USA First Team to Reveal Hockey Olympians : No big surprises except maybe Roenick's saltiness.

posted by willthrill72 to hockey at 12:27 AM - 21 comments

Whoa. They'll need a miracle. Again.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:53 AM on December 20, 2005

I don't think the team stands much of a chance (maybe a fourth place if they really play well). As for Roenick, he's a big mouth and after the problems during the last Olympics he was involved in I don't think he should ever be allowed back, even as a commentator, etc.

posted by dyams at 08:53 AM on December 20, 2005

JR thinks he was black-balled. I sure hope he roots for Canada if he gets a commentating gig. Not that I want him to root for my team, but acting like such a baby would be hilarious to some and enraging to others, all the while he ruins he reputation, or what he has left of it, with everybody. Melrose gave the chance at fourth at best, given the level of competition. But I wouldn't rule out a medal for the stars and stripes. As the for picks, it is a good blend that should have success, but no Jamie Langenbrunner? And Chelios better be paired with someone who still has legs.

posted by garfield at 08:59 AM on December 20, 2005

I like the way defense is looking, but I think goal is going to be the biggest concern. DiPi over Esche for #1 is just fucking crazy (that groin wil heal up by Feb.). It seems the philosophy behind picking players is "what have you done for me lately". Leaving out Johnny Vermont is understandable but I would take JR in heartbeat. Gionta is finally living up to expectations (i see sooooo many devs games and I have always like the way this little fucker played) Oh and I can't forget Mathieu Shcenider, I totally have a soft spot for the NY boys and I love seeing him get back to the great offensive play he showcased for the Canadiens back in the 90's. Chelios or Schenider should be name captain.

posted by HATER 187 at 09:04 AM on December 20, 2005

Does anyone have a breakdown of where the players come from? Looks like a lot from Michigan and a few from Minnesota, but I'd love to see a total (without actually looking it up myself!)

posted by emoeby at 09:42 AM on December 20, 2005

Here's the birthplace breakdown by state. Alaska: 1 Colorado: 1 Connecticut: 1 Illinois: 1 Indiana: 1 Massachusetts: 3 Michigan: 5 Minnesota: 3 New York: 6 Ontario: 1

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:59 AM on December 20, 2005

Is it just me, or is the whole team comprised of 2nd-line players?

posted by grum@work at 10:00 AM on December 20, 2005

It's you. Knuble, Modano, Weight, B-Gui, all first liners.

posted by HATER 187 at 10:08 AM on December 20, 2005

Doug Weight isn't a 1st liner anymore. Hasn't been for three seasons. Guerin may be the most overratted player in hockey. That said, I like this team because they went with the Newbies. Might as well - not even close to the depth of the Czechs, Canucks, Swedes and Russians.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:01 AM on December 20, 2005

Roenick is hilarious. And that team looks pretty smelly.

posted by fabulon7 at 11:08 AM on December 20, 2005

On a humorous sidenote regarding the Rusky squad.. For the record, Sergei Fedorov played for the Russian Olympic team in both Nagano and Salt Lake City. He did it no matter who was in charge of the program and he did it even when the program was considered to be in turmoil and at one point, total disarray. Yet he won't play for Russian in Italy saying only "the less said, the better." That's led to a great deal of speculation that the decision is personal. When you consider Pavel Bure is assembling the Russian team for Turin and that Bure and Fedorov were once vying for the affections of one somewhat prominent tennis player whose first name is Anna, well, we'll leave the speculation up to you.

posted by garfield at 11:22 AM on December 20, 2005

It certainly is quite a mixture of really old, old and really young. I love Chelli (the guy is practically ageless) and Modono always rocks. Roenick is pretty much a classless tool. But I'm with HATER over the netminder. DiPi is ok, but give me Esche any day. I don't think this team can compete with the International powerhouses. I'll be surprised if the US can eke out a medal this time.

posted by willthrill72 at 11:23 AM on December 20, 2005

I think they might add Miller, if Esche really does have a sports hernia.

posted by garfield at 11:43 AM on December 20, 2005

I can't forget Mathieu Shcenider I realize he played for Mt. St. Charles (RI, REPRESENT), but he sounds like an out-of-towner.

posted by yerfatma at 11:51 AM on December 20, 2005

I know that some of the older players are well...older. But this is suicide. Modano should have a spot because hes usually pretty steady as far as performance goes. Dead Weight should have a spot as a backup in case we get someone hurt pretty bad. And I know it is a naive question. But who the HELL is that goalie? Im sure hes good, probably great but why dont they get someone who we have heard of? Why not get Marty T from the Stars or someone who has proved they wont choke in high pressure situations?

posted by hockeyislife22 at 11:55 AM on December 20, 2005

It may just be me, but I truly miss the days when the Olympics were for amateur athletes. Nothing was a bigger thrill than sitting in the classroom in a west Minneapolis suburb, listening to the broadcast of the hockey games on the 80 Olympics. Now, its pros who look on it more as a chore to be there than anything else, wishing they were back at home enjoying the time off during the season (yes, more a dig at the ballers than the pucksters, but it is still there). Just my two cents, but I would rather see a bunch of hungry kids from the CCHA, the WCHA and Hockey East going at it against other amateurs. I know the arguments, some countries paid their Olympians, they weren't truly amateurs, so level the playing field, but now that the Communist Sports Machine is mostly dead (excepting the PRC) isn't it time to go back to the good old days?

posted by elovrich at 11:55 AM on December 20, 2005

hockeyislife22 USA can't play Turco in net because he is canadian. yerfatma He's not from out of town (Hells Kitchen), and I can't speel good and his first name is spelt the french way.

posted by HATER 187 at 12:02 PM on December 20, 2005

elovrich: I think the idea of amateurism is dead. It's more important to bring together the best athletes/competitors in each sport. Besides, we already have the "best non-pro" tournament: the junior championships. Because, after that age, pretty much any player of any quality would lose their amateur status playing at the next level (NHL, AHL, European leagues). As for it being a "chore", the Canadian hockey players in 2002 would have stepped on each others throats to get a chance to play for Gretzky and Co. Players who had no reason even being on the ice due to injuries were doing everything they could to win. I think you can attribute a few amazing performances this season to players who have kicked it up a notch for a chance to represent Canada.

posted by grum@work at 02:23 PM on December 20, 2005

the Canadian hockey players in 2002 would have stepped on each others throats to get a chance to play for Gretzky and Co. I suspect this will be the same this year, regardless of who makes the cut. The American team doesn't look like it's been picked with an eye toward winning this year. They will, however, be learning at the feet of some past greats, and next Olympiad, this could be a monstrous lineup. (And hey, Dipietro could get hot, as long as he's not playing any Leafs on the other teams. I kid because it hurts.)

posted by chicobangs at 03:17 PM on December 20, 2005

I just gotta say how happy I am that Erik Cole got selected for the team. Something happened to him over the lock-out and his legs have morphed into rocket engines. He has been turning d-men into pylons as of late and it will be exciting to see him play on the larger Olympic rinks. Bernreuther...paging SpoFi's very own Bernreuther*. Where are you? * - He was friends with Erik Cole in college.

posted by NoMich at 11:41 PM on December 20, 2005

This team would get easily beaten by Équipe Québec ;-)

posted by Judas at 08:25 AM on December 21, 2005

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