World Cup of Hockey Betting Update: Final World Cup of Hockey rosters
On Friday, all eight teams competing in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey announced their final seven selections for their 23-man rosters.
There were bound to be some surprises, but no one expected Team USA to perform so well so quickly. Dean Lombardi, the team’s general manager, made some truly shocking additions, building a team that appears to be more interested in winning in the alley than on the ice.
Could it possibly work? Absolutely. The Americans will be a physical team that will try to create opportunities off the forecheck. With Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, and David Backes in the mix, they’ll be big, strong, and difficult to play against. However, if this team struggles to score, which it very well may, it will be difficult to justify the decision to add a slew of gritty third-liners over players capable of skating top-six minutes such as Tyler Johnson, Phil Kessel, and Paul Stastny.
While Matt Niskanen is an excellent choice on the back end, it’s difficult to understand why Erik Johnson and Jack Johnson were chosen over a skilled puck mover like Justin Faulk. Taken as a whole, this appears to be a team built to win in 1996, not 2016.
Jaromir Jagr will miss the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
There will undoubtedly be some gnashing of teeth in Canada as well, but that is unavoidable. Because of the depth of their talent pool, there will always be great players who do not make the cut. As a result, no Taylor Hall. There is no Corey Perry. Most concerning for some is the absence of P.K. Subban.
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Subban, through no fault of his own, has always felt like a long shot for this team. Canada’s right side is absolutely lit, and with Drew Doughty and Shea Weber already on the roster, he was beaten out by Norris finalist Brent Burns and Alex Pietrangelo. It’s difficult to argue with those options. Both were outstanding in the playoffs and, more importantly, both play a more secure two-way game.
P.K. has had a difficult break, but his time will come.
The selection of Jake Muzzin will raise a few eyebrows, but he is an excellent choice. He’s a classic Mike Babcock pick, a left shot with chemistry with Doughty. He, like Marc-Edouard Vlasic, plays a skilled two-way game with minimal risk. Even if he ends up as the seventh D, with Burns sliding onto a righty-righty third pair, he’s a better pick than Subban or Kris Letang because he provides left-side insurance.
Rain Man of Sticks pays a visit to Congress, according to Alex Ovechkin.
The under-23 gimmick squad, Team North American, has no real surprises. Some may question the selection of top draft prospect Auston Matthews over experienced NHL players such as Robby Fabbri or Boone Jenner, but his performance at the World Championships proved he belongs. His combination of size, speed, and skill provides a significant boost to this club.
Russia provided the day’s first surprise, omitting veteran forwards Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov but including SlavaVoynov.
The NHL suspended the former Los Angeles Kings blueliner in 2014 after he was charged with spousal abuse. He later pleaded no contest to a lesser charge and received a 90-day prison sentence. After being deported from the United States, he left the country and returned to Russia, where he found work in the KHL.
The NHL announced on Friday that it will investigate Voynov’s eligibility to compete in the World Cup, which will be held entirely in Toronto from September 17 to October 1.
Analyzing the preliminary rosters for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey
“Obviously, we’ll have to review his status with the Players’ Association before the tournament begins in September,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN. “At this time, I do not believe this player will be deemed eligible to compete in the World Cup of Hockey.”
Only Kovalchuk’s absence stands out because of his familiarity among NHL fans. The former 50-goal scorer, who has spent the last three seasons in the KHL, was benched by his team during the playoffs due to his lackluster performance.
Radulov made it clear that he intends to return to the NHL after his current KHL contract expires this season. It’s possible he was left off as a result of his refusal to play in the Russian league, but it’s also possible that management felt it had better options than the 29-year-old former Predator. Neither Radulov nor Kovalchuk represented Russia at the recently concluded World Championships in Moscow. The bronze medal was won by the host team at the event.
Finland was represented by 2016 NHL Draft prospect Patrik Laine, who recently dominated at the Worlds, and Carolina draft pick Sebastian Aho, but Jesse Puljujarvi was not present.
Team Sweden passed over early Norris favorite John Klingberg. Given their strength on the right side (Erik Karlsson, Anton Stralman, Niklas Hjalmarsson) and their already deep power play, this isn’t a particularly surprising development, but it’s sure to rile up fans who will wonder why Niklas Kronwall was chosen ahead of him.
Gustav Nyquist was a surprise omission by the Swedes. The Red Wings forward is coming off a strong World Championships performance in which he led Tre Kroner in scoring with seven goals. Washington forward Marcus Johansson, who was forced to withdraw from the World Championships due to an injury, was also left out.
Here are the final rosters, with the (*) denoting Friday’s final seven player additions:
TEAM UNITED STATES
- Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ben Bishop
- Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick
- New Jersey Devils’ Cory Schneider
- Winnipeg Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien
- Washington Capitals’ John Carlson
- Colorado Avalanche’s Erik Johnson
- Columbus Blue Jackets’ Jack Johnson*
- New York Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild*
- Matt Niskanen, Washington Capitals
Red Wings’ Justin Abdelkader
Blues, David Backes
- Ryan Callahan of the Lightning* Brandon Dubinsky of the Blue Jackets* Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks
Ducks’ Ryan Kesler
Capitals’ T.J. Oshie
Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty
Wild, Zach Parise
Sharks’ Joe Pavelski
Derek Stepan, Rangers
Blake Wheeler, Jets* James van Riemsdyk, Maple Leafs
Blackhawks Braden Holtby, Capitals Carey Price, Canadiens Corey Crawford
- Sharks’ Brent Burns
- Kings’ Drew Doughty
- Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Jake Muzzin of the Kings, Alex Pietrangelo of the Blues, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the Sharks
Predators’ Shea Weber
- Stars Jamie Benn
- Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron
- Kings’ Jeff Carter
- Penguins’ Sidney Crosby
- Avalanche’s Matt Duchene
- Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf
- Claude Giroux of the Flyers* Brad Marchand of the Bruins* Tyler Seguin of the Stars
- Lightning’s Steven Stamkos
- Islanders’ John Tavares
- Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews
- Sharks* Joe Thornton