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Team USA to announce Sochi Olympic roster at 2014 Winter Classic

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NHL players at USA Hockey Olympic Orientation Camp

Twenty-five lucky individuals frl\om this group will earn a trip to Sochi. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

USA Hockey announced today that it will reveal the roster for its Olympic team during the NHL’s Winter Classic broadcast on January 1.

The game, set for Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, will feature the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 2014 Olympic tournament starts just five weeks later on Feb. 7 in Sochi, Russia. Each nation will be allowed to select 25 players, up from the 23 used in Vancouver. That will allow some flexibility for roster construction, although it’s expected that the Americans will take three goalies, eight defenders and 14 forwards.

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  • Published On Sep 30, 2013
  • Team USA stars speak out on gay rights, avoid Russian laws

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    Team USA Olympic Orientation Camp

    Next question: Sochi hopefuls are trying to be diplomatic about Russia’s controversial ant-gay law. (Susan Walsh/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    The players at USA Hockey’s pre-Olympic orientation camp knew the questions were coming. And they were well prepared.

    At least, that’s how it felt yesterday when three of them addressed the issue of the anti-gay propaganda legislation that was recently enacted in Russia. The answers felt a little . . . scripted, and not quite on point regarding the players take on the Olympic host counry. Instead, the players’ carefully crafted message was geared more towards inclusivity in the NHL, and their answers played like a PSA for the You Can Play Project.

    That’s a good thing . . . but it was also a neat sidestepping of the controversy.

    “I think the position of USA Hockey is [that] hockey is for everyone,” Blues captain David Backes said. “I think as an American who believes in the freedom that we have and the way that we run our society and culture, everyone has the right to participate in sports or live their lifestyle the way that they want. I’m supportive of anyone. We had our first gay basketball professional athlete come out this year. My stance then, and now, is anyone is welcome in my locker room with the St. Louis Blues that lives that lifestyle. I don’t care if you’re black, white, green, purple, gold [or] what you think. As long as you’re committed to the team aspect and the way that we’re playing, you’re always welcome on my team.

    Backes eventually got back around to the topic at hand . . . sort of.

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  • Published On Aug 28, 2013
  • U.S. Olympians start camp knowing they won’t be underdogs this time

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    Patrick Kane participated in a USA Hockey sponsored youth clinic on Monday. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Patrick Kane participated in a USA Hockey sponsored youth clinic on Monday. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Sarah Kwak

    ARLINGTON, Va. — Nearly four years removed from the 2010 Olympic Games, when it came within an overtime goal of winning gold, Team USA can no longer claim underdog status. The U.S. can’t downplay its skills or its level of experience on the Olympic stage. It can’t expect to fly under the radar while all the attention goes to teams from Canada and Russia. It can’t be so sure anymore that no one would bet a dime on the Red, White and Blue to win it all, as former general manager Brian Burke had so often said in the months before Vancouver. The days of softened expectations for American hockey are gone.

    “[Burke] in Vancouver gave the players great cover, if you will,” said David Poile, the GM for Team USA. “He lowered the expectations outside the room. But I can tell you inside the room, we knew we had a chance to win…. [Now], I think — no, I know — we are at the point when we… put on the U.S. jersey we expect to win. We are not going into Sochi as an underdog.” Read More…


  • Published On Aug 26, 2013
  • GM meetings in Toronto spark Olympic progress for Team USA, Team Canada

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    Boston's Brad Marchand

    Boston’s Brad Marchand has put himself in the mix for a roster spot with Team Canada. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Safe to say, yesterday’s GM meetings in Toronto achieved little of note. They made some headway in the effort to further shrink the size of goalie equipment — although really, how much smaller can it get before we recognize the goalies themselves aren’t getting any smaller and we need to take a serious look at increasing the size of the nets? They moved toward increased use of video review in the shootout to determine if forward motion has been derailed and to double-check high-sticking calls.

    Surprising they had time to get all that done and still eat lunch…

    But even if they failed to get it together on much-needed items like hybrid icing and the coach’s challenge, the trip to Hogtown was hardly a loss, especially from the Olympic perspective.

    Both the American (yesterday) and Canadian (today) brain trusts met to further discussions ahead of Sochi. And with fans waiting for the NHL and NHLPA to commit to the 2014 games, any news/rumors that come out of those gatherings will be welcome.

    Steve Yzerman, the executive director of the Canadian men’s team, convened today with his management team — St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong, Detroit GM Kenny Holland, Edmonton Oilers president Kevin Lowe, Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland and Hockey Canada vice president Brad Pascall — to discuss players contending for roster spots. Although it’s thought that as many as eight forwards and five defenseman are inked in, there’s plenty of action on the fringes that the group will have to ponder.

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  • Published On Mar 21, 2013
  • USA Hockey hosts Star Wars night…and why not?

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    Ilya Bryzgalov Star Wars mask

    This is one promotion that Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov should be on board for. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Proving once again that there is no tie-in that is too much of a stretch for that galaxy far, far away, the folks at LucasFilm are teaming up with USA Hockey for a special Star Wars night on Mar. 24.

    The members of the U-18 USA National Team Development program will wear this special patch on their sweaters when they host Youngstown in their season finale.

    Hockey fans (and, presumably, Star Wars completists undeterred by the last three films) can pick up one of these very limited patches for themselves at the game, with all proceeds going to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.

    Apparently, popular Star Wars characters will also be on hand, which I guess rules out an appearance by this guy,, but should lead to lots of embarrassing photos that will come back to haunt some of these guys when they’re NHL stars.

    I have a feeling this photo may come back to haunt Seth Jones.


  • Published On Mar 20, 2013
  • USA Hockey confirms All-American Prospects Game for Pittsburgh

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    USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game

    Phil Housley (far right), who led Team USA to the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championships, coached a team at the 2012 All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo last September. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    The 2013 NHL Entry Draft is still five months away, but the stage already is being set for a bumper crop of American talent in 2014.

    USA Hockey announced today that the All-American Prospects Game would be held at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center on Sept. 26.

    The game will showcase 40 of the top American-born players who are eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, drawn from the U.S. National Team Development Program, the CHL, USHL, NCAA and U.S. high schools.

    The inaugural edition of the event was held last September in Buffalo and featured players such as Seth Jones and Ryan Hartman, both members of the 2013 World Junior Champions and certain first-round picks this June.

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  • Published On Jan 29, 2013
  • Hockey Weekend celebrates the game in the United States

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    Joe Louis Arena in Hockeytown is just one of the sites across the U.S. that will host games and events. (Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    It’s “Hockey Weekend across America,” a celebration of the game that also includes the NHL and NBC’s “Hockey Day in America” on Sunday. This nationwide initiative, which USA Hockey inaugurated five years ago, actually began today with “Wear Your Jersey Day” — and if you didn’t pull one on to go to work or school, consider wearing one tonight. I’m sitting at the computer wearing a circa 1962-63 Baltimore Clippers sweater with one of my favorite logos — and, yes, it’s really a sweater although, alas, a replica. I used to listen to the Clippers’ AHL games long distance over WBAL in the early ’60s. It’s a good, warm sweater and in pretty good shape, even though the sleeves are big to fit elbow pads under them. Makes it a bit difficult to type.

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  • Published On Feb 17, 2012


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