At USA Today, Kevin Allen writes that Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh are “locks” to make Team USA in 2014.
Allen says that Callahan’s ability to score and play a physical game will be needed and that McDonagh is part of a group with Ryan Suter and Jack Johnson who will form the core of Team USA’s defense.
He adds that Derek Stepan is one of four centers who will battle to center the top line for Team USA, along with Ryan Kesler, Paul Stastny and David Backes.
At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes that McDonagh could be an even better player on the bigger ice, that Stepan may get shifted to wing and that Callahan would have to play himself out of a spot to not make the team.
Peters adds that McDonagh’s elite skating and closing speed will be very important for Team USA on the big ice.
David Poile, the GM of Team USA, said on a media conference call Ryan probably wasn’t known as well in 2010 and he might be the type of guy who fit the mold of what we were looking for in Vancouver. He has gotten better and better and now he is the captain of the Rangers and I am sure a big part of our team in Sochi.”
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that Dan Girardi may be typecast in the eyes of many, including Team Canada decision makers, as someone who stands in one place on the ice and blocks shots and wouldn’t be mobile enough to play on the larger ice surface.
Brooks notes that people may see Girardi as a product of John Tortorella’s defensive system.
He notes that Girardi will have a few months to show that he can do more than just block shots and make a run at a spot on Team Canada before the final roster is decided.
The Hockey News describes Girardi as a “big-minute shutdown defenseman.”
Girardi has been considered one of the top snubs for players who didn’t get invited to Team Canada’s orientation camp.
At The Hockey News, Rory Boylen looks at 10 players who were snubbed by not getting invited to their respective Olympic orientation camps.
10th on the list is Dan Girardi and Boylen says that the surprising thing to him is that Marc Staal was picked over Girardi.
Boylen says that Staal’s injury issues and Girardi’s rise during that time, the two should be in opposite positions. He does say that Staal would also have been a snub had he not been invited.
Staal was invited to the orientation camp for the 2010 Olympics and has represented Canada in under-17 tournaments, under-18 tournaments, two World Juniors and the 2010 World Championships. He has won three Gold Medals with Canada (U-17 and two WJC) and was named the best defenseman at the 2005-06 WJC.
Girardi has never represented Canada at the international level.
Adam Rotter: It seems that prior international experience is a big factor when inviting players to the camp. Corey Crawford is the only member of Canada who hasn’t previously played for Canada but there are big questions with Canada’s goaltending and he just won the Stanley Cup. Girardi, who should have been invited, doesn’t have that experience but he has been excellent the past few seasons, an All-Star, and at times a legitimate Norris contender. Still, Staal, when healthy, is the Rangers top defenseman and if he is healthy next season he will likely have a spot on Team Canada’s final roster.
6/14/13: According to Hockey Sverige, the Swedish Ice Hockey Council has announced their roster for their Olympic orientation camp in August.
Three Rangers were invited:
- Henrik Lundqvist
- Oscar Lindberg
- Carl Hagelin
Lundqvist has been the starting goalie for Sweden in the past two Olympics. He won gold with Sweden in 2006.
Yesterday, Hockey Canada released the list of players who have been invited to their Olympic orientation camp in August.
Rick Nash and Marc Staal are the only two Rangers who were invited to the orientation camp.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal said he was surprised to see that Dan Girardi wasn’t invited to the orientation camp and Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail listed Brad Richards as one of the centers who got snubbed.
At Backhand Shelf, Daniel Wagner came up with a roster of players who weren’t invited to Team Canada’s camp.
The fourth line center of the snubbed team is the Rangers Brad Richards, centering Alex Burrows and Chris Stewart, with Wagner saying that Richards can be useful as a two-way fourth line center on a team like this.
On defense, Dan Girardi is on the top pair with Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin and Michael Del Zotto is one of the spare defensemen.
Girardi has never represented Canada in an international event. Del Zotto played for Canada in 2010 at the World Championships and Richards played for Canada in the WJC in 2000, 2001 World Championships, 2004 World Cup and 2006 Olympics.
USA Hockey has announced that Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, Columbus coach Todd Richards and Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato will be assistant coaches to Dan Bylsma at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
John Tortorella, who was an assistant in 2010 under Ron Wilson, is not part of the coaching staff.
Laviolette has an interesting history with Granato and Bylsma
USA Hockey has announced that Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh have all been invited to Team USA’s Olympic camp.
Former Ranger Brandon Dubinsky was note invited.
Callahan has represented Team USA on two occasions: in the 2010 Olympics and 2005 World Juniors.
Stepan has represented Team USA on two occasions: 2010 World Juniors and 2011 World Championships.
McDonagh has represented Team USA on three occasions: 2007 Under 18s, 2009 World Juniors and 2011 World Championships.
Hockey Canada has announced that 47 players have been invited to their pre-Olympic camp in August.
Two of those players are the Rangers Rick Nash and Marc Staal.
Defenseman Dan Girardi, thought to be a possible contender for a spot, was not invited.
Rangers trainer Jim Ramsay is also the trainer for Team Canada.
Nash is one of four players who played for Canada in 2006 and in 2010 at the Olympics.
At NHL.com , Rangers captain, and potential Team USA captain, Ryan Callahan spoke about the challenges that will face Team USA in Sochi.
Callahan said that the bigger ice will present a challenge and that the team may need a game or two to find the correct way to play.
In terms of expectations, Callahan said that the Americans won’t sneak up on anybody and will be in the conversation for medal contention when the tournament starts. Callahan said that with the veteran group of players Team USA expects to have, including a lot of returning players, will be able to handle all pressures thrown at them.
10:33AM: TSN has Rick Nash and Dan Girardi making Team Canada.
10:24AM: At Sportsnet, their hockey panel predicts the roster for Canada at the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia.
Doug MacLean, Nick Kypreos, Brad May, Mike Keenan, Scott Morrison and Neil Smith all have Marc Staal on their team.
MacLean, Kypreos, Chris Johnston, Brad May, Mike Keenan, Scott Morrison, John Garrett, Neil Smith and John Shannon all have Rick Nash on their team. Most of them have Nash on the top line LW with Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos.
Garrett, the guy who complained loudly that John Tortorella had never played in the NHL, and then was all “buddy buddy” when Tortorella was interviewed on Sportsnet, has Brad Richards on his team as well.
Nash and Staal are the Rangers most often picked to play for Canada.