USA on ice
Well theres been a Slovakia post, a Swedish post and two Canadian posts but nothing reguarding the US team that will be announced this weekend. In keeping with the spirit of the “who wants Gretzkys job” post I’ve come up with the south of the border equivalent.
So I went through every NHL roster and picked out any US born player who has any name recognition. I figured i’d break them down by position and pick and choose who i would want. If I were in coach Wilson’s position.
Lets start from the net out.
john grahame, brian boucher,brent johnson
robert esche, garth snow , rick dipetro
mike dunham, ty conklin
for my choice i would have to go with Robert Esche as my starter, I dont think there is any question he is the cream of the crop when it comes to US born goalies in the here and now. I’d have to go with John Grahame as back up and I would reward Ty Conklin for his strong play in the worlds and give him a spot as the third goalie.
On defense the US has the following guys to choose from:
keith carney, hal gill, jordan leopold, bret hedican, sean hill, bryan berard , chris chelios, mathieu schneider, aaron miller, brian rafalski, tom poti, paul mara, brooks orpik, brian leetch
Brian Leetch, Keith Carney, Chris Chelios, Mathieu Schneider, Brian Rafalski area all automatics in my mind.
I would fill out the team with Paul Mara, who for a 6-4 220 defender has both speed and mobility. and his 42 points this year show that he can lend a hand on the offensive side as well, and Aaron Miller. Miller is a dependable physical presence in his own zone, and you can never have too many of them.
Finally the offence. How do you build a team for international play? Many of the things that drag the NHL down will not appear in this summers games. The clutching and grabbing, the trap, and fighting will most likley not been seen and this is something to think about when building a team. Donald Brashear may have found a niche playing for Philly, but he’d be of no use this summer.
Some of these guys can be dropped without a second glance, but once you get down to about 20 forwards the choices get tough.
shawn mceachern, brian rolston, Chris drury, mike grier, craig conroy, erik cole, tyler arnason, steve konwalchuk, todd marchant, mike modano, bill guerin, scott young, mike york, richard park, david legwand, scott gomez, brian gionta, jamie langenbrunner, shawn bates, jason blake, mark parrish, bryan smolinski, jeremy roenick, donald brashear, john leclair, tony amonte, ryan malone, niko dimitrakos, doug weight, kieth tkachuk, jeff halpern, bates battaglia
Of this group I would pull seven guys who i would call my scorers. they would make up my top 2 lines with one being considered a fill in for injuries.
Chris Drury, Mike Modano, Bill Guerin, Jeremy Roenick, Scott Gomez, Tony Amonte, Kieth Tkachuk
Next I would want 3 guys who could fill in that third line role. guys who are quick, who can shut down the other teams top line, yet put a few pucks in the net from time to time.
Brian Rolston, Todd Marchant, Craig Conroy
And finally I would fill out the team with versatile guys. Guys who can do a little mucking and grinding, who can score, and who can play multiple positions.
Erik Cole, Mike York and Ryan Malone
And thats my team