With the start of the NHL season on Tuesday, USA Hockey will renew its focus on selecting the Team USA roster for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
At the U.S. Olympic Committee Team USA Media Summit today, General Manager David Poile said, “Over the next three months, a decision will be made on the 25 players.”
Leading up to the January 1 announcement at the 2014 NHL Winter Classic, "we will be meeting on a regular basis to decide on the chemistry, characters, and roles” said Poile. “We will be looking at who is improving the most, and who is playing their best” by year’s end.
The pool of players is deep, with 48 stickmen invited to the recent Orientation Camp held in Arlington, VA. Poile expects that about half of this squad’s 25-man roster will be manned by players hailing from the 2010 Winter Olympics silver medaling team.
Looking ahead, Poile said that the American squad will be one of four to five teams who could win the gold medal.
St. Louis Blues Captain David Backes, a likely returnee to Team USA said that, “The Vancouver Olympics have been the highlight of my career. And after Vancouver, the players will have a hunger and thirst for a gold medal.”