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Appointed U.S. Olympic Team Coach Lacks NHL Faces

By Kelsey,

Tony Granato was announced as the coach for the United States Olympic team on Friday by the U.S.A Hockey. Tony is the University of Wisconsin’s head coach. He will coach the Olympic team at the highly anticipated 2018 Games to be held in South Korea. U.S.A Hockey also unveiled the plans it has to build a roster that lacks N.H.L players. These facts will greatly affect the NHL betting odds for the next season.

The players from the European leagues and colleges as well as from the American Hockey League will be the main composition of the American team. Furthermore, there is a high likelihood that a good number of national teams will have players who participated last year in the league. This is despite the fact that N.H.L decided that they will not send even a single player to Pyeongchang.

There are ongoing discussions between the sports national governing i.e. U.S.A. Hockey and at least 3 or 4 older American players. These are players who are strongly considering retirement from the N.H.L and instead to extend their careers by playing for the American team come next February.Granato said that unfortunately, there are some good players who are likely to retire but would have been potentially excellent candidates. Granato initially played in the Olympics for the year 1988 for the United States. He was also an assistant coach for the Olympic team in the year 2014.

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Granato further added that if the players can practice somewhere and stay fit, they will be prepared by February and would definitely be ideal leaders.

Granato together with the officials of the U.S.A. Hockey refused to disclose any of the players. However, there is a high probability that the 38-year old Brian Gionta who played for the Buffalo Sabres in the previous season is among them. This is because the player who suited for all 82 games is an unrestricted free agent.

John-Michael Liles of the Boston Bruins and Matt Greene of the Los Angeles Kings are both available veterans who are unrestricted free agents.

Jim Johannson mentioned that he had contacted approximately eighty players who have the potential to make the team. He is an official of the U.S.A. Hockey and will function as the Olympic team’s general manager. Thirty of these players will be representatives of the United States in the prestigious Deutschland Cup tournament to be held in the month of November in Germany. Jim said that the tournament will act as both a training camp and a tryout.

Notable personalities who will be providing much needed assistance to Granato are Ron Rolsto of U.S.A Hockey, Yale Coach Keith Allain and players of the N.H.L as well as former Olympians Scott Young and Chris Chelios.

Apart from the American team, Canada also has great interest in the unsigned N.H.L veterans. Former coach Willie Desjardins of the Vancouver Canucks will lead Canada who will attempt to recruit the 2 aging veterans i.e. Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan.

The decision by the N.H.L to fail to participate in the Olympic Games remains to be a contentious issue, especially among several superior players in the league. In fact last week, Edmonon Oilers’ Connor McDavid aired sentiments that he was very upset concerning failing to be a representative of Canada. He said that the Olympics are the best stage that any athlete can represent their country and to be told that you will not be able to do this for another 4 years is quite disappointing.

Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals has vowed to represent Russia in the Olympics. However, it is not clear how Alex will do this. He cited that participation in the Olympics is the key reason why he chose to remain in Russia. This decision was based on the Kontinental Hockey League instead of returning to the N.H.L. Andrei Markov who is a seasoned Montreal Canadiens defenseman last week signed with a K.H.L team. Markov mentioned that he had hopes of being selected to the Russian Olympic team. Pavel Datsyuk who is another Russian star, exited the N.H.L in the year 2016 in order to play in the K.H.L. Pavel is an eligible player for the Olympics.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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