ANN ARBOR, Mich. - USA Hockey announced today the 25 players that will make up its 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team here today as part of the festivities at the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The announcement was made at Michigan Stadium before a world-record crowd and also broadcast live on NBC Sports in the United States.
The roster includes 13 Olympians, a stark contrast to four years ago when the silver medal-winning 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team featured just three players with Olympic experience. Among those selected with an Olympic pedigree are goaltenders Ryan Miller (East Lansing, Mich./Buffalo Sabres), who was the MVP of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games hockey tournament and Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y./Chicago Blackhawks), the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner who is currently second in the NHL scoring race with 23-30--53.
"We went through a very thorough process to get to today and could not be happier with the team we've selected," said David Poile, general manager of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team and also the GM and president of hockey operations for the NHL's Nashville Predators. "We're fortunate to have probably the deepest talent pool we've ever had in our country and that made for some very difficult decisions. In the end, however, we're confident we've selected a group of players that puts us in the best position to have success in Sochi."
"We appreciate the work done by David (Poile) and all those involved in putting this roster together," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "We look forward to what will be a great Olympics in Sochi, where hockey will be at the center of attention."
Along with Miller and Kane, eight other forwards, two defensemen and one additional goaltender with Olympic experience punctuate the roster, highlighted by defenseman Ryan Suter (Madison, Wis./Minnesota Wild), who is logging an NHL-best 29:40 of ice time per game and was a Norris Trophy finalist last season, and Jonathan Quick (Milford, Conn./L.A. Kings), who earned the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy after helping the L.A. Kings to the Stanley Cup title.
The 25 players selected are, on average, 6-1, 203 pounds and 27 years old.
The selection of the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team is subject to the approval of the United States Olympic Committee's Game Preparation Division.
For Team USA's full roster, click here.
NOTES: Team USA's roster includes 14 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders. Ryan Miller is the oldest player on Team USA at age 33 (Brooks Orpik is also 33, but two months younger), while Justin Faulk, at 21, is the youngest. The average age of Team USA by position is 29.7 for goaltenders; 25.9 for defensemen and 27.0 for forwards. The average age of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team was 26.5 ... U.S. General Manager David Poile established five players as the leadership group of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, including David Backes, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter ... Team USA's captain and alternate captains will be formalized at a later date .... Eight players from Team USA hail from Minnesota, while five call the state of New York home. A total of eight states are represented as home states of U.S. players ... Thirteen members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team were born in the first half of the year, while 12 were born in the second half ... All 25 members of Team USA, who represent 17 NHL teams, participated in USA Hockey's Men's National Team Camp held in August at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues each have three players on Team USA to lead the way ... The U.S. roster includes 15 first-round NHL draft picks, six second-round picks, as well as one third, fourth, fifth and seventh round choice. Patrick Kane is the highest pick, as he was taken first overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, while Joe Pavelski is the lowest pick, taken 205th overall in the seventh round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks ... All 25 players have worn the U.S. sweater in international competition at some level. Cumulatively, U.S. players have competed in 632 international games and captured 38 medals. A total of 11 players have won gold medals (Howard, Carlson, Faulk, Fowler, Suter, Kane, Kesler, Kessel, Parise, Stepan, van Riemsdyk) ... Ryan Suter has played the most games in international competition at 64, with Phil Kessel (53 games) and Dustin Brown (52 games) not far behind ... Twenty players have U.S. college hockey experience, with the University of Wisconsin leading the way with four players and the University of Minnesota with three players ... A total of nine players have competed for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program (Faulk, Fowler, Howard, Kane, Kesler, Kessel, Shattenkirk, Suter, van Riemsdyk) ... Nine players on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team have U.S. junior experience, including eight who played in the United States Hockey League and one who competed in the North American Hockey League ... Ryan Suter's father Bob played on the 1980 Miracle on Ice Team, while his uncle Gary played on the 2002 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team ... The management group that selected the roster for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team includes David Poile (Nashville Predators), general manager, Ray Shero (Pittsburgh Penguins), associate general manager, Brian Burke (Calgary Flames), director of player personnel and Jim Johannson (USA Hockey). In addition, Stan Bowman (Chicago Blackhawks), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia Flyers), Dean Lombardi (L.A. Kings), Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers) and Don Waddell (Pittsburgh Penguins), all part of the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, were involved in the process from start to finish ... Dan Bylsma, head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is the head coach of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, with Peter Laviolette, Todd Richards, head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Tony Granato, assistant coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, serving as assistant coaches ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Gavin Regan, vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. National Teams.
Long days, great games and high intensity – it’s tournament time. Gary Cutler is the USA Hockey supervisor of officials in Western New York. He’s officiated countless tournaments at both the local and national levels. Cutler sat down with USA Hockey to discuss teamwork, tournament-time preparation and what officials can do to be selected as postseason officials next season.
USA Hockey: What does your current position entail? What are some key responsibilities?
Gary Cutler: My current volunteer position as supervisor of officials entails many different responsibilities throughout the season. It all starts immediately after national tournament week, with organizing local seminars in the fall, participating in summer camps, and solving any registration issues an official might have. We are also identifying those officials that potentially can work in postseason tournaments, the Junior Officiating Development Program or a USA Hockey summer camp. We also communicate with leagues about rule changes or rule interpretations and solve any issues that arise during the year with officials.
USA Hockey: What do you like most?
Gary Cutler: The most enjoyable part of my position is seeing officials improve their officiating skills from their very first seminar they attended up to the level they are presently officiating at, whether it is getting a postseason assignment, working in the Junior Officiating Development Program, college assignments, international assignments, or even working in professional leagues.
USA Hockey: Tournament time. What is your initial reaction when you hear those two words?
Gary Cutler: Long days. Most postseason tournaments consist of 12- to 14-hour days of being at the rink observing officials and making sure the officiating side of the tournament runs as smooth as possible.
USA Hockey: What are some unexpected duties or responsibilities that come with tournaments that officials might overlook or forget?
Gary Cutler: Throughout the entire tournament, the officiating program is a team more than ever. Every official should be helping their teammates so everyone can do the best job they are capable of. A lot of officials have more than one rulebook in their referee bag. An official should have complete knowledge and understanding of the rulebook that they are using, whether it is a regular-season game or a postseason assignment.
USA Hockey: Do officials tend to feel more pressure during tournaments, especially semifinal or championship games? How should they cope with that and stay focused on the task at hand?
Gary Cutler: Most definitely a semifinal or championship game brings a lot more pressure on the officials that have been selected to work these games. The officials that do these types of games generally have these attributes that give them the opportunity to succeed?
USA Hockey: Can you feel the intensity ramp up during tournaments, from the players, coaches, parents, etc.?
Gary Cutler: When tournament time comes around, everyone’s intensity level is increased. As each day of the tournament passes, the intensity level grows until the conclusion of the championship game.
USA Hockey: What can young officials do to position themselves for consideration as officials for next year’s tournaments?
Gary Cutler: It all starts in the summer. Start a physical fitness program over the summer, so when the season comes around, you are in the best physical shape you can be in. Go to summer development camps. When you attend a seminar, come with a positive learning attitude. Officials have the opportunity to be identified as potential candidates for tournaments at these seminars. During the regular season, work hard at every game, for the entire game. Constantly look into the rulebook/casebook so you have a complete understanding of the rules. Improve your officiating skills every game. This can be done by reading your manuals and reviewing the videos on USA Hockey’s website. If you are evaluated, listen, take notes and implement what the evaluator discussed with you when you are officiating games. The moment you enter the arena, put yourself in the proper position to make the proper call.