For a good read on the selection process and the list of players who filled out the roster in the end, check this link out: USA Hockey Story.
Most importantly to us and most shocking is that our very own Saader did not make the Olympic team, despite being a heavy favorite from the panel making the choices. Not so shocking was that Leddy also missed out on a spot, although the team is weak on the defensive roster, including a hole in puck moving ability, you really couldn't see him making it. The biggest shocker on the D, is that Jack Johnson didn't make the team, which is going to hurt the team IMO. Brooks Orpik took his spot which was not a wise choice.
It should also be mentioned that Sharp easily made the Canadian team, and that they have Keith and Doughty slated to play alongside each other. That is going to be a quick moving D. Seabrook also made the team, but is currently slated on the 4th pairing.
Back to Saader. I find it hard to swallow that Seabrook made the Canadian team while Saad missed out on the American roster. Another absent player from the roster sure to garnish some criticism is Bobby Ryan. I however agree with this choice, Ryan doesn’t bring the intensity they are looking for. Apparently, there were 4 players buying for 2 spots on the team. Bobby Ryan, Saad, T.J. Oshie, and Blake Wheeler of the Jets. I am a fan of Oshie, but can’t believe he and Wheeler made it over Saad. It would seem that the coaches favored those 2. I think the coaches don’t understand what they are losing in Saad's 2-way, hard-nosed, and extremely smart play. Saad has shown he can play anywhere and do everything. The intensity he brings, and how hard he is to play against will be missed. Plus, he has nothing to lose being that he is still a rookie. Reading through the decision process, Saad was a favorite through the talks and just lost it to a personal opinion by the coaching staff. If it had been up to the selection panel alone, Saad makes the team, as he was the favored player through most of the talks up until the last day. Weird, but I have a feeling Saad makes that trip in the end.
Maybe the Olympic team's loss is the Hawks gain, because it keeps 1 of our great players from getting injured.
So, the Hawks have 4 players on team Canada, Hjalmer and Oduya will make team Sweden, Hossa and even Handzus will make team Slovakia, and Kaner is on team America. 9 players, which include almost all of the top 2 lines right now, minus Versteeg.
Filed under: View from the Bench