Sunday, December 18, 2005

Decision day for the USA

The United States will name its Olympic Hockey team on Monday, as General Manager Don Waddell announces his selections from St. Paul, Minnesota.

Many expect the Americans to go with a youth movement with the likes of former Olympians Chris Chelios and Jeremy Roenick, to be replaced by younger legs for the trip to Turin. Having kept a core group together for over ten years now, the Americans are looking to the future and a new crop of young American skaters to carry the colours into the rink.

The big question in the States as in Canada, is who will tend to the nets for the USA. Rick DiPietro, Robert Esche and John Grahame are the professionals being considered as is Ryan Miller of Michigan State.

It's a tough call for Waddell, who will have to tell some long time stars of hockey in the USA that their time has passed them by. With players such as Mike Modano, Bill Guerin and Doug Weight winding down their careers, this could very well be their last shot at a Gold Medal for the USA.

But time marches on and unless the Americans begin to bring some new legs and expose some of their younger guns to the Olympic experience, they may find that their roster depth for Vancouver will be even less experienced.

It's a tough job to be the one responsible for naming the names, even more so considering the pedigree of some of the names Waddell may have to leave off the list. Unless his team comes back with a Gold Medal for their troubles, Waddell really is in a no win situation.

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