Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Current College Athletes Will Represent Team USA Hockey at PyeongChang 2018

Current College Athletes Will Represent Team USA Hockey at PyeongChang 2018

Certainly there were no Sidney Crosbys or Martin Brodeurs among the 25 players introduced in a low key midday announcement conducted at Hockey Canada headquarters in Calgary.

"More than anything, we have the character throughout the lineup that gives us the opportunity to be a very hard team for everybody else to play against", said Desjardins, whose most recent gig was head coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 2014 to 2017.

Two other players on the team will be familiar to Saskatchewan WHL fans as former Saskatoon Blades defenceman Stefan Elliott and Moose Jaw Warriors forward Quinton Howden will be on the squad trying to defend as Olympic champions.

And if anyone knows about making the most of the NHL's absence from the Games, it is Forsberg - the last time the league declined to allow its players to take part, he and his Swedish teammates won gold in Lillehammer in 1994.

Last spring, the league put out an official statement calling their Olympic ban a "closed matter" and claimed that all of their clubs were against sending players overseas. Roy (6), Klinkhammer (5), Scrivens (4) & Brule (3) all played on multiple National Hockey League teams, not just the Oilers. "When a Canadian team or a Canadian athlete is competing, you're always cheering them on".

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All three played for Team USA at November's Deutschland Cup in Germany, the lone pre-Olympic tournament for the US men's national team.

Few fans are familiar with the bulk of the National Hockey League castoffs coach Willie Desjardins will have 19 days to meld into a contender, but they all have tremendous tales of perseverance to realize the dream of putting on the Maple Leaf next month in Korea.

Instead, Canada's lineup features former NHLers such as Mason Raymond and Gilbert Brule.

Gragnani lasted 14 games in Vancouver in 2012, then played a season in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers, before heading to the KHL, then the Swiss league, then a brief return to North America with the New Jersey and Albany Devils, then made his way back to the KHL for the past two seasons.

The 12-nation men's tournament goes from February 14-25 at the Gangneung Hockey Centre and the Kwandong Hockey Centre.

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"Every time I talk to people, they still remember where they were", Poulin said. "He hit everybody. He just wanted to make this team".

Training camp starts January 28 in Latvia.

Leggio, a graduate of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute now plays in Germany for EHC München of the DEL and has represented Team USA in two IIHF Men's World Championships in 2010 and 2014.

Canada is going with experience over youth as it chases a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in men's ice hockey. "I don't think you could say we missed anybody".

"We had all three at the Deutschland Cup ... and they've all had really solid years", said USA head coach Tony Granato.

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