On Monday, USA Hockey announced its 48-player invite list to August’s Olympic orientation camp.
On Tuesday, GM David Poile gave hope to those not on it.
“Just because a player isn’t at camp doesn’t mean they won’t make the Olympic Team,” Poile explained. “We’re going to make our decisions based on who is playing best, who deserves to make it.
“Our list goes well beyond 48 players at camp.”
That’s good news for a number of players overlooked for camp selection, set to take place from Aug. 26-27 at Kettler Capitals IcePlex in Arlington, Va.
On defense, a number of veterans were left off the list. Dallas’ Alex Goligoski — the NHL’s fourth-leading U.S. defenseman scorer last season, with 27 points — Tampa Bay’s Matt Carle, Columbus’ James Wisniewski and a pair of 2010 holdovers, Carolina’s Tim Gleason and current UFA Ryan Whitney, were not asked to attend.
Perhaps the most curious snub on defense was Pittsburgh’s Rob Scuderi.
Scuderi, 34, was brought back to Pittsburgh on July 5 after four seasons in Los Angeles. The Pens paid heftily (four years, $13.5 million) with GM Ray Shero saying it was wrong to let Scuderi walk after the 2009 Stanley Cup win.
“It was a mistake to let Scuderi go on my part,” Shero said at the time. “To have the chance at a do-over and bring Rob back, I think that’s a good day for us.”
Given Shero’s role on the U.S. managerial team and Dan Byslma’s role as head coach, it was surprising not to see Scuderi at least get a camp invite.
At forward, snubs were less prevalent, though the likes of Minnesota’s Jason Pominville, Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky, Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone, Vancouver’s David Booth and Calgary’s Lee Stempniak were all passed on.
Things went mostly according to plan in goal, though Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop was passed over in favor of Ducks draftee John Gibson, who wowed onlookers at the 2013 World Hockey Championships.