With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia approaching soon after the dawning of the New Year, I have spent a fair amount of time researching and studying which countries each of the players that comprise the roster of the Chicago Blackhawks could end up representing their countries.
But, as an American, I am most excited to report on the possibilities for Team U.S.A.. As I read and learn more about the other players that could end up making the cut, to be announced during the Winter Classic celebrations at the first of the year, I am called to remember the movie Miracle. “This cannot be a team of common men. Common men go nowhere. You have to be uncommon.” Is one of the more inspirational quotes from coach Herb Brooks.
As far as Team U.S.A. is concerned, it will most definitely be a team comprised of uncommon men. Some of the greatest players that sport different jerseys in the NHL will all wear the red, white and blue sweaters as they represent the United States in Sochi.
So, which Blackhawks could we see on the roster? Well, there are a mere five players on the Blackhawks roster that are U.S. natives. These players are Brandon Bollig, Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad, Ben Smith and Nick Leddy. Of these five players listed, Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad and Nick Leddy were the ones invited to training camp back in August.
Leddy, a left defensemen with 18 points recorded on the season, which is third best on the Hawks roster behind Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith, who are both expected to skate for Canada in Sochi. Leddy is a powerful force out on the ice. He is fast and not only has the ability to make the assist when needed, but he can also find the back of the net when the time comes.
Saad skates on the second line as a left-winger with Michal Handzus and Patrick Kane. This line has the ability to do some pretty impressive things. Saad works very well with others and has proven that when Coach Joel Quenneville makes one of his infamous line changes. Saad has recorded 13 goals and 16 assists this season. He is a talented young player and will definitely mesh with the young persona that characterizes Team U.S.A.
With many potential Team U.S.A. defensive prospects listed as injured, the boys skating for the red, white and blue will feel pressure to deliver offensively in Sochi. This should not be a problem with the likes of Patrick Kane out on the ice. Kane is the top forward in the United States and has contributed significantly to 2 Stanley Cup championships. There is no doubt that he will be on the roster, what with his history of scoring big goals, and will likely be the go-to guy for Team U.S.A.