Team USA & the 2006 Olympic Hockey Tournament
"I'm not looking for the best players. I'm looking for the right ones" -- Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks in the movie Miracle.
Didn't Don Waddell watch this movie before choosing Team USA?
He may have chosen the best players.
He certainly didn't choose the right ones.
Ryan Miller is at home in Buffalo. There is no excuse for this what-so-ever.
Chris Chelios, though a stand-up guy and loyal Team USA member, should be a figurehead on this team only. His game is no longer fit for the International ice.
Tony Amonte, Brian Leetch and Jeremy Roenick are a veteran players who were loyal to Team USA, yet they were left home. Chelly should be home, too.
Derian Hatcher also doesn't belong. He's too slow for the NHL, must less International hockey.
Who should replace them?
Bret Hedican was a late addition. He should have been on the original roster.
Joe Corvo would help. He's a speed guy and a strong offensive defenseman.
Ryan Suter belongs on this team. THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND ABOUT THIS. He's played the International game recently. His game is fit for the bigger ice and he has already proven he is one of the top young defenseman in the NHL.
I really don't have a problem with the forwards on this roster. The two guys I think should be in Italy are Jeff Halpern and Tim Connolly. Halpern a face-off and defensive specialist who would help against the Russian, Slovakian and Swedish power play units. Connelly is a speed player. He creates opportunities with his speed and would be perfect for the wider ice, less hitting style of Olympic play.
Bryan Burwell, a terrific writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, nailed it. Team USA is a poorly constructed, second-rate outfit. Whereas, Team Canada constructs their team and treats them like Gold Medalists, before they even hit the ice.
Real zombies aren't on ice; they oversee USA Hockey
Team USA didn't fly a charter like Team Canada. They flew commercial from scattered parts of the country.
As opposed to Dan Wetzel, who totally missed the boat, blaming Gary Bettman. What does Gary Bettman have to do with choosing the wrong goaltenders, not chartering a flight to Italy and not choosing the right players for International-style play?
Time to pull plug on pros
I have no clue why Wetzel has such a problem with "pros" in the Olympics. Did he have such a problem after the 2002 appearance in the finals?
He speaks of our silver medal performance and the league's shutdown in the same breath. I have no idea how the two relate. The league's shut down was about cost certainty and viability of the small US and Canadian markets. NHLers appearing in the Olympics neither caused nor attempted to stave off the potential lockout.
If Team USA continues to play mediocre hockey, it will have nothing to do with "pros" in the Olympics. Team USA needs the "right" pros in order to repeat their 2002 appearance in the final game.