Injuries to the US Olympic Hockey Team’s defensive squad have left one or two open positions on their roster. Defenseman Paul Martin of the New Jersey Devils withdrew yesterday and Mike Komisarek has been injured and did not play yesterday even though US GM Brian Burke thought he would. Komisarek has been out since January 2nd with a shoulder injury and as anyone who knows hockey, knows that Komisarek was a political pick for GM Burke so he would not look bad with to his Toronto Maple Leaf fans for not selecting a player from his team.
Alex Goligoski is once again a front runner to be selected and has the numbers to back himself up. The US Team is short on offensive defensemen to the point that even though Goligoski has missed 12 games this season he still leads all of the players selected to be on the roster in points this year. Anyone who has seen Goligoski’s last two assists on Sidney Crosby goals knows that this kid deserves the spot.
NHL.com’s – Managing Editor – Shawn P. Roarke had this to say about Goligoski: “Injuries have taken some luster off this youngster’s star, but I still like what I see. It is his versatility — as well as his offensive potential — that buys him the final spot among the defensemen on my roster”
The US Olympic Hockey team has up until midnight February 15th to replace injured players on its roster.
Erik Johnson, St. Louis
Brian Rafalski, Detroit
Ryan Suter, Nashville
Brooks Orpik, Pittsburgh
Jack Johnson, LA
Mike Komisarek, Toronto Injured – withdrew
Paul Martin, New Jersey injured – withdrew
Open Spot Contenders:
Alex Goligoski, Pittsburgh
Ryan Whitney, Anaheim
Zach Bogosian, Atlanta
Rob Scuderi, LA
Matt Carle, Philadelphia
Andy Greene, New Jersey
Ron Hainsey, Atlanta
John-Michael Liles, Colorado
Additional Reading: ” Goligoski Deserves a Spot on USA Olympic Team“