With the Olympic hockey tournament starting this week, every American hockey fan is wondering the same thing: What if?
The men’s hockey tournament in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will be played with an asterisk, as it will be the first time in five Olympic cycles that the Games did not feature NHL players.
As many hockey writers and bloggers have pointed out, the Americans would have iced a very good roster, perhaps the most talented American team ever. Would they have had a legitimate shot at the Gold? A betting man would tell you to take Canada or Sweden, but based on the available players, constructed into the right roster, the US could realistically unseat the Canadians as the reigning champs.
"It’s difficult, you look at the guys around the All-Star game that could have been on the team and I think we could have had a pretty special group going to the Olympics,'' Calgary winger Johnny Gaudreau told Lightning Insider at All Star weekend. "But that’s just the way it goes sometimes, hopefully in four years we get the chance to do it.''
So what would the American team have looked like? Probably nothing like this, because USA hockey has historically put together some questionable rosters in recent best-on-best tournaments. But if I were in charge, it would look a little like this:
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