Today the United States men’s Olympic hockey team was revealed and it contains 3 members from of our local hockey teams.
Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan of the Rangers will be representing the red white and blue in Sochi, Russia next month, along with stars from the other NHL teams as well. For the entire Olympic roster check out NHL.com.
To me, the big story here is the omission of Islander Kyle Okposo. Okposo currently ranks 2nd among American-born skaters with 40 points this season, trailing only the Chicago Blackhawks‘ Patrick Kane.
What more did Okposo have to do to earn the right to represent his country? Okposo has more points than Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan combined. I am not discrediting the merits of those two players, whose play and repuataion has certainly merited their selection, it’s just to provide a reference point. The player that I would have dropped to add Okposo would be Winnipeg Jets right wing Blake Wheeler, who has 9 less points than Kyle on the year.
Okposo is a versatile, two way, player who fits the mold of the US team perfectly. It seems that being on the wing of John Tavares and producing at a high level is a detriment to his credentials. That is the only explanation for the snub, but to me that’s not a fair excuse. He would be playing with world class players at the Olympics as well, so it would stand to reason that his production would remain at that level during the Sochi games.
Feel free to tell me your thoughts on the entire Olympic roster, and the Okposo snub, in the comments.
(all stats via NHL.com network)