Thursday, December 4, 2008

More on the US Roster

Overall I think the USA roster is pretty well rounded. After the omission of John Carlson, you can't really complain. Some say Nick Petrecki should of made it on the back end. I can see that because Petrecki brings a physical presence to the game.

The team will go with experience as 18 of the 22 players will be 19. This is a 19 year old tournament. I expect Canada to have less 19 year olds on the team. Their 18 years old will have the talent to make up the age gap between the two teams.

I think that's why Morin wasn't named to the team because they wanted that veteran presence.

Regan Bartel who's the radio announcer is wandering why Colin Long didn't make the team.

Five players from the WHL were selected to the U.S Team. Seattle's Jim O'Brien and Spokane's Tyler Johnson are two players that I question being selected over Long on the 22 man roster. I am not saying O'Brien and Johnson are not good players, but are they better than Long? Look at the numbers:

Long: 16+24=40

O'Brien: 10+16=26 (14 fewer points than Long)

Johnson: 7+15=22 (18 fewer points than Long)

For argument sake lets say O'Brien and Johnson are better defensively than Long. Or are they? Long is a +9 this season, and is a +31 over the last two seasons. O'Brien is a +7 this season and a +29 over the last two seasons. Johnson is a +10 this season, and a +27 over the last two seasons.

I think some homerism is involved. He's splitting hairs with the plus-minus stat can be inflated. I am trying to see where he would have a place on this team. He wouldn't be on the top line with Wilson, van Riemsdyk, and Schroeder. That line should be set. He's a center and Matt Rust is returning and is a defensive center. O'Brien is that two way guy. Wahl is another scoring center. I could see him replacing Johnson because of Johnson's size. At the same time Johnson has made it through the WHL okay at 5'9. Long is 6'0.

USA Hockey didn't see Long's game fit into their plans. You can't go with a bunch of scorers.

That's My Take

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at


Anonymous said...

There is a bigger CHL presence at the USA tryouts this year than in the past. Nathan, do you think that might help the competitiveness of the USA versus Canada this year?

I think Long should have been chosen over Johnson or O'brien, but Johnson is the meanest of the three. If the team need an agitator, Johnson is the guy. Having watched them several times, I think Long is better than O'brien.

Nathan Fournier said...

I think it might help the Americans. I think the CHL guys will be able to give the strengths and weaknesses of the Canada guys because they have seen them multiple times.

I could of seen Long taking Johnson's spot what you said, USA Hockey probably saw Johnson filling a role that the team needed.