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Thread: Olympic Hockey Preparations Will Differ for Canada and USA

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    Olympic Hockey Preparations Will Differ for Canada and USA

    http://nationalpost.com/sports/hocke...9-755e235d11f8

    Hockey Canada is planning an extensive schedule of European tournaments while the U.S. plans to be more hands-off before Pyeongchang.

    Former Vancouver Canucks coach Willie Desjardins turned down offers to work in the NHL this season so he could be behind the bench for Canada at the Winter Olympics. Tony Granato gets to keep his day job at the University of Wisconsin and still coach the United States.


    Six months from the start of the Olympics in South Korea, picking coaches is just one of the many contrasts between Hockey Canada and USA Hockey. Their rosters will be more similar to each other’s than Russia’s star-studded group, but the two North American countries are embarking on drastically different approaches ahead of the February tournament that will be the first without NHL players since 1994.

    The U.S. and Canada will each rely heavily on professionals playing in European leagues and mix in minor leaguers on American Hockey League contracts. While Russia will likely have a team with former NHL stars such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Andrei Markov, who went home to join the Kontinental Hockey League, Canada has former NHL players such as Derek Roy, Max Talbot, Mason Raymond, Kevin Klein and Ben Scrivens to look to in Europe. The U.S. has Nathan Gerbe, Keith Aucoin and former AHL goalies David Leggio and Jean-Philippe Lamoureux.


    Because there are fewer experienced American players in Europe, the U.S. is far more likely to call on recent world junior and current college players, skewing younger at skill positions. Boston University’s Jordan Greenway and Denver’s Troy Terry, who led the U.S. to gold at the world juniors last year, could be among the selections.


    Canada general manager Sean Burke began preparing a year ago for a no-NHL Olympics, scouting to find potential fits to fill the positions previously held by Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Drew Doughty and Carey Price. U.S. general manager Jim Johannson began touching base with players in June, after roster rules were set. He doesn’t plan to put a lot of mileage into in-person scouting over the next couple of months.


    “In many cases we know what those players are,” said Johannson, who has been in charge of recent U.S. world junior and world championship teams. “I don’t think our goal is prior to December go running all across the world to see what do these guys got. Let their season get going.”

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    Safe to say we won't be witnessing the best that hockey has to offer during the Olympics but I'll still be watching and still cheering on a bunch of almost were's and maybe will be's that will comprise the American roster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    Safe to say we won't be witnessing the best that hockey has to offer during the Olympics but I'll still be watching and still cheering on a bunch of almost were's and maybe will be's that will comprise the American roster.
    My thoughts exactly.

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