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USA Hockey names preliminary roster for 2011 U.S. National team

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USA Hockey named its 29-man preliminary roster for the 2011 World Junior Championships today and from the looks of things, it’s hard to argue with the prevailing wisdom that the team has a great chance to contend for a second gold medal in a row.

The roster includes eight players from that gold medal winning team, highlighted by Dallas Stars prospect goalie Jack Campbell and Toronto Maple Leafs free agent pickup Jerry D’Amigo. (Other returning players include John Ramage, Ryan Bourque, Chris Kreider, Jeremy Morin, Kyle Palmieri and Jason Zucker.)

Click here for the full roster.

Another interesting fact about this roster is the fact that it is well-stocked with players from “non-traditional” U.S. markets. Cassie McClellan points out that there are four players from California, one from Nevada, one from Arizona and one from Texas.

It’s a roster that boasts the experience of those eight players and a slew of first round NHL prospects. If you didn’t get the chance to watch that fantastic tournament last year on NHL Network, I strongly recommend checking the games out in 2011. It’s possibly the closest thing hockey has to March Madness right now.

For ticket information for the WJC in Buffalo, click here. Visit USA for more information.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”

Yes! Jagr’s bringing back the mullet

Ice Hockey - Day 6 - Czech Republic v Slovakia

The greatest mullet in sports history is making a comeback.

According to the Miami Herald’s George Richards, Jaromir Jagr says he’s bringing back the party in the back.

“I have to,” Jagr, 43, said.

Jagr’s teammate with the Florida Panthers, goalie Roberto Luongo, appears to have been the lead lobbyist in all this.

Anyway, this is fantastic.