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2022 USA Olympic Hockey Roster Projections, Canada Is In BIG Trouble

So this was the news from yesterday. The IOC and the NHLPA working towards an agreement that would theoretically help get NHL players back in the Olympics for 2022 which almost exactly two years away in Beijing, China. Sure, the owners still have to get on board and that is a HUGE hurdle, but I would guess they'd look at how much having the NBA plays in the 2008 Olympics helped growth in streams, jerseys, and fucking everything and maybe the NHL hopes they can find and extra 200,000,000 fans in China after the 2022 Olympics. 

If the NHL is playing. who makes the team is going to be BIG time theatre. It's a shame that the NHL didn't participate in the last Olympics because it felt like adding guys down the middle like Matthews and Eichel could've put America in the Gold Medal conversation. Those two will still be in their prime on the next team, but guys like Suter, Kesler, Pavelski, Backes, and Kessel who were important pieces in 2014 will need to be replaced. Here is what my 2022 Team USA would look like

Forwards

Matthew Tkachuk-Auston Matthews-Patrick Kane

Johnny Gaudreau-Jack Eichel-Blake Wheeler

Kyle Connor-Dylan Larkin-Jack Hughes

Brady Tkachuk-JT Miller-Brock Boesser

Extras: Kevin Hayes, Clayton Keller

Hard to find a flaw with this forward group. I am not the biggest fan of Matthews, but he could score a zillion goals if he was being set up by Patrick Kane. Team USA always seems to be a little weak down the middle and if they played a Canada team with Crosby and McDavid they will would be in comparison but this is the deepest and strongest forward group, in theory, that America has ever had. Big, fast, skilled, mean, and a lot of interchangable parts. I like the idea of having Hayes on the roster as a solid 2-way center but I am sure that many people will leave him off of their team. 

Defense

Jaccob Slavin-Seth Jones

Zach Werenski-John Carlson

Ryan Suter-Charlie McAvoy

Extra: Quinn Hughes

Suter makes the team even though he has about 100,000 miles on his legs and will be 36 years-old at the time of the tournament. He will probably wear the C if Kane doesn't and he can be the steady veteran hand for a younger group. Slavin and Jones is as good of a top pair as you'll find in the tournament. Carlson keeps getting better and better. I love Werenski. McAvoy is one of my favorite young defensemen. Really good group built for big ice. Hughes makes it and would be a perfect guy to come in and run the second PP if needed. 

Goalies:

John Gibson

Connor Hellebuyck

Easiest group to pick. Hard part would be finding a reasonable third goalie(Probably Bishop or Quick, but both will 35). Gibson and Hellebuyck will both be 30 at the time of the tournament. Goaltending is usually a strength at international tournaments for USA. Both of these guys are really good, but...neither are likely as good as Ryan Miller or Jonathan Quick in their primes. 

Is this a team good enough to fuck up Canada? Well...

I think it might be. McDavid and MacKinnon on the same line, theoretically, feels like cheating, but I like our group.  I think the US defense is probably a tick stronger. 2022...Our time

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