Monday, March 1, 2010

Heatley, Canada Gold; Rafalski, Suter, Pavelski, Silver

Simply amazing. If you watched the hockey game yesterday between the United States and Canada there is no way that you can not walk away anything but impressed with those two squads.

As an American, I took the loss very, very hard yesterday and I still feel pretty down and probably will for a while. But as an American who was born after 1980, I feel like I can honestly say I have never been prouder of an American sports team than I am right now.

This was no miracle, but what these 23 young men accomplished is amazing. Before the tournament, the experts said that a BEST case scenario for the USA would be a fourth place finish. Canada, and Russia were all everyone wanted to talk about. After those two countries, the only teams that had a chance to medal were Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, and maybe if they had an outstanding tournament, Slovakia. So for a team of Americans who were projected as the seventh best team in the world to come home with a Silver medal is something to be very proud of, and I know I am.

The best part about the success at the 2010 games is that GM Brian Burke made the right move by going to the young Americans to represent our country. The Mike Modano's and Keith Tkachuk's of the world were left off the roster in favor of the Bobby Ryan's and Dustin Brown's. With the average age of the United States being only 25, how can you not be excited about the future of USA hockey?

Realistically looking at future Olympics, I cannot see any way that NHL players will not be allowed to play. I realize that the next Olympics are in Russia and there is simply no way that the NHL can have the success it had with the 2010 games, but hockey fans are going to go crazy if the NHL players are not allowed to go.

With that said, look at who the United States brings back for the 2014 games? Virtually everyone. I would have to assume that Brian Rafalski, Tim Thomas, Chris Drury, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Ryan Malone will not be back. After that? Things look very, very, very good.

EXTREMELY EARLY 2014 ROSTER PROJECTION:


2014 age in parenthesis

Goalie:
Ryan Miller (33)
Jonathon Quick (28)
Jack Campbell (22)

Defense:
Ryan Suter (29)
Erik Johnson (25)
Jack Johnson (27)
Matt Niskanen (27)
Matt Carle (29)
Zach Bogosian (23)
Cam Fowler (22)

Forward:
Zach Parise (29)
Dustin Brown (29)
Paul Stastny (28)
David Backes (29)
Pat Kane (25)
Phil Kessel (26)
Ryan Kessler (29)
Bobby Ryan (26)
Joe Pavelski (29)
Kyle Okposo (25)
TJ Oshie (27)
James VanRiemsdyk (25)
Colin Wilson (24)

AMIE SQUIRE / Getty Images


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