One of the more notable snubs from the U.S. Olympic orientation camp was Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville.
And one person acutely aware of that snub?
The guy who handed out the invites — American GM David Poile.
Poile, who addressed the media on Monday from the opening day of Team USA’s camp in Virginia, said Pominville “probably should have” been invited to camp — and that, during a lengthy meeting with the American management team, Pominville’s name was eventually “put back on the board.”
“If [Pominville] plays well enough,” Poile told the Minnesota Star-Tribune, “he’s back in the mix.”
The understanding is that Pominville will have the opportunity to play his way onto the squad from October to December (rosters are due on Dec. 31). The former Buffalo captain has plenty of offensive skill — he scored 30 goals and 72 points in 2011-12 — but will need a stellar first-half showing to crack the American forward group.
Poile alluded that a number of forwards already have a “foot in the door,” meaning they’re not quite locks but about as close as you can get.
One would assume that group features Patrick Kane, Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, David Backes and Bobby Ryan.
From there, it’s simply a numbers game: USA Hockey invited 24 forwards to the Virginia camp and it looks as though five to seven spots will be up for grabs.
As such, Pominville faces an uphill battle for a job.