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Team USA: too young to know they’re out-matched? September 8, 2009

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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USA Hockey invited 12 players will be 25 or younger at the time of the 2010 Olympics to their orientation camp. They only invited 8 players over the age of 30. Many of the wet-behind-the-ears kids are not wide-eyed rookies, though, so that begs the question – are these guys too young to know they’re out-matched?

I don’t think so. Like I said, even the youngest players like Pat Kane, Erik Johnson, and Phil Kessel are not strangers to playing with the best players in the world at the game’s highest level. I think many people forget Kessel is only turning 22 next month, since it seems like he’s been in the NHL for a long time. Everyone talks about how young Sidney Crosby is and whether or not he’s ready to lead Team Canada (hint: he isn’t and shouldn’t), but Crosby is a couple of months OLDER than Kessel.

These guys know what it takes to win. Many of them have won big trophies at either the NHL level, the international level, or both. I’m not worried about their youth. In fact, I’m not worried about anything about this team. Yes, there are some very talented teams being put together by the participating countries. Yes, it will be a competitive tournament which will demand strength of character.

I think the one thing Team USA has going for them, more than anything else, is that this is one of the most talented squads to come out of the US in years. USA Hockey is pumping out prospects to the NHL just like Hockey Canada or the Russians are. No longer are programs in the US behind those of other countries. These guys have been around the block a time or two. And they’re not afraid.

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