The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced yesterday that the deadline for countries to submit rosters for the 2014 Olympic games has been pushed back from December 31 to January 7. Several countries were apparently lobbying for an even later date, but January 7 was chosen by IIHF in conjunction with the NHL and the NHLPA. The date was also picked to avoid a conflict with the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, ending January 5. The delay is good news for teams like Canada, who now have Stamkos’ injury to consider and will appreciate the extra time.
The United States, however, will proceed as planned and announce their Olympic team on January 1 during the Winter Classic, just as they did 4 years previously at Fenway Park. That year, the American players were announced by children skating out in jerseys bearing their names.
“We look forward to celebrating the American player through the announcement of our Olympic teams as part of the NHL Winter Classic,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “It will be an extraordinary stage with an Original Six matchup, a record crowd, a worldwide television audience, the great pageantry of the event itself, and of course the unveiling of both our men’s and women’s Olympic teams.”
The final roster for the U.S. Women’s National Team will be announced during the 2nd intermission, and the men’s team will be revealed on ice after the end of the game. I, for one, am looking forward to these announcements more than the Winter Classic itself.
But I’ve been waiting hungrily for these Olympic games since the conclusion of the hockey tournament last time around, so maybe that’s just me.