Yesterday we looked at the surprises the preliminary rosters had given us. Now, its time to look at who should be there over who is.
- Jason Pominville, with a roster that will struggle for offense, at least compared to some, leaving out a the guy who finished seventh among American scorers last season, and second the season before is unabashedly embarrassing.
- Brandon Dubinsky is one of the best two way forwards in the league. He’s capable of throttling the life out of opposing powerplays, winning faceoffs reliably, and will play physically against anyone. He’s well over a point a game internationally.
- John Gaudreau makes the most sense of any non-NHL player for this Team USA squad to field. He’s money in the bank scoring goals, and is over a point per game at every level he’s played, USHL, NCAA, WJC and others.
- Alex Goligoski had his most productive season in points per game, despite having two of the top forwards traded mid season and no describable NHL quality centers on the team.
- Torey Krug, unlike certain invitees, Krug played a significant number of his teams playoff games and managed to make the Bruins walking dead powerplay look like it had a pulse. Speedy, great passer, plays well against larger opponents (nearly everyone).
- Matt Greene while offense is undoubtedly needed, a shut down defenseman who can hit like a freight train is never something to be without. Arguably the best American shutdown defenseman in the NHL, certainly top 3.
- Jack Campbell has international experience and even if he doesn’t make the final roster the organization should take a good look at him for next time around. It is unlikely Howard, Anderson or Miller will be at or near their top form as goalies in four years.
The Canadian talent pool is deep enough to field two teams and have both of them medal most years. That said, some names being left off even the initial roster are baffling.
- Jaime Benn is an enormously talented winger who was forced into the center slot last season and still came close to dragging his team into the playoffs.
- Jarome Iginla is a head scratcher, unless he said he didn’t want to be there, or is going to be having a surgery that require a long recovery, he’s got all the tools anyone could want on their roster why he isn’t listed is at best curious and at worst an embarrassment.
- Nathan Horton he was the leading Canadian scorer on the right wing in the playoffs, he’s won a Stanley Cup and even if he’s not due back from injury at the start of the season he’s still a big game force.
- Pascal Dupuis, another talented right winger who led all Canadian right wings in goals in the regular season and plays in all situations. He’s never had a chance to play for his country, and has more than paid his dues in the NHL.
- Matt Moulson is probably being snubbed for going to an American College and not playing Canadian Junior, but three 30 goal seasons in a row isn’t something you leave aside lightly.
- Evander Kane if you want to upgrade the teams aggression without sacrificing skill there are few better names to insert.
- Wayne Simmonds might just be one of those pugnacious wingers you take over Kane, but it’d be a close thing.
- Francois Beauchemin is a pure workhorse capable of playing gigantic minutes, staying disciplined, and willing to sacrifice his body for the team.
- Cody Franson was third among Canadian defensemen in scoring this season, and fifth for the playoffs despite only playing one round. He’s young, talented and mobile.
- Dan Girardi in any sane universe he’s going to be one of the first three names out of the mouth of someone reciting the list of the NHL’s best shutdown defensemen, apparently that isn’t good enough for Team Canada. He was also fifth total minutes played among Candian NHL defensemen last year. Go figure.
- Devan Dubnyk has played for the his country several times, including this years Spengler Cup, and turned in service that ranges from strong to exemplary. How he’s not invited at all is the single biggest mystery on of the whole years roster.