The list of invitees to the U.S. Olympic team orientation camp was announced today, with Mike Modano taking up the role of the most experienced veteran on the squad. Here's the full list of players invited:
Forwards: David Backes, David Booth, Dustin Brown, Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Jamie Langenbrunner, Ryan Malone, Mike Modano, Kyle Okposo, T.J. Oshie, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan, Paul Stastny
It's safe to say that the U.S. team will most likely be the youngest and least experienced (Olympics-wise) team in the tournament. There's some pretty interesting names left off the list, including Brian Gionta, Jason Blake, Blake Wheeler, Patrick O'Sullivan, Erik Cole, Doug Weight, Keith Ballard, and Ty Conklin. I'm also fairly surprised to see Matt Niskanen left off the list.
A couple of things to note, however. First off, U.S.A. General Manager Brian Burke has stated that this is not in any way the final group of guys that will be invited to Vancouver. The team will have 50 players undergo the proper drug testing and could add some players based on their performance to start the season.
It's obvious that Burke wanted to go young and fresh instead of sticking with the same ol' veterans that have been there year after year. It's interesting that they would go with Modano over some of the other vets, but he is the highest scoring American player in NHL history, so....yeah.
Great for Modano, who had stated that this was something he's really looking forward to doing one last time.