As part of the NHL's Winter Classic celebrations on New Year's Day, USA Hockey will announce the official rosters of its men's and women's ice hockey teams for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.
Last August, 48 players were invited to Team USA's men's orientation camp. Click here to see the original list, from The Hockey News. On January 1, that number will be cut back to the 25 players expected to improve on a 2010 silver-medal performance in Sochi.
Like every Olympic nation, injuries have been an issue for Team USA in the weeks leading up to its announcement. In early December, general manager David Poile said in a conference call (per The Globe and Mail) that his inclination is to name the team that he wants and hope for the best with respect to players' health:
If we think any of these players are going to be on the Olympic team or we want them on the Olympic team and they’re going to be healthy by Feb. 11, then we’ll have to name them on the team and then we’ll have to deal with replacing them if their injury doesn’t come around.
Here's a look at seven key members of Team USA on the injury bubble and their odds of starting the New Year with a positive announcement about what they'll be doing in February.
Let's start at the back and work our way out.