2014 US Olympic Hockey Team Snubs: Analyzing Best Players Left off Sochi Roster

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIJanuary 1, 2014

Dec 10, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan (6) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Buffalo beats Ottawa 2 to 1 in a shootout.  Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

The 2014 U.S. Olympic hockey team has officially been announced, and while there are some big names currently on the roster, a lot of buzz currently going on is about the players not invited to play in Sochi.

Recognizable stars like Patrick Kane, T.J. Oshie and Jonathan Quick are just a few of the big names selected to the Olympic team.  But the debates have already begun as to which players got snubbed and which shouldn't have been selected to represent Team USA in the Olympics.

Below is a look at a few of the biggest names to get snubbed, breaking down why they deserved to be on the U.S. Olympic team.


Keith Yandle, D, Phoenix Coyotes

MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 17: Keith Yandle #3  of the Phoenix Coyotes follow the puck against the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game on December 17, 2013 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
Francois Lacasse/Getty Images

As a strong and aggressive defenseman, Keith Yandle loves to make plays on offense.  He ranks third in the NHL in points among all American defensemen this year with 27, grabbing six goals and 21 assists this year.  

Joe Haggerty from CSNNE.com tweeted his reaction of Yandle being snubbed.

Only one player on the Olympic team, Kevin Shattenkirk, has scored more points this season as a defenseman than Yandle.  His ability to make plays on offense while also doing a great job as the point man during power plays should have made Yandle a solid selection for the United States, but the team decided to go in a different direction.

He might not be the best shutdown defender, but Yandle would have provided a nice spark for the Olympic team at Sochi.


Jack Johnson, D, Columbus Blue Jackets

VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 22:  Jack Johnson #7 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates up ice during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on November 22, 2013 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Vancouver won 6-2. (Photo by Jeff Vi
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

As one of the bigger surprises in regards to players left off the roster, many were stunned to see Jack Johnson not selected this year.  Considering he's represented the United States since 2004 on the U17 team, it's quite surprising to see him left off.

With the larger ice, Johnson could have been a nice fit for the roster due to his speed and offensive play that would have transitioned nicely at the Winter Olympics.  He's a leader for the Columbus Blue Jackets, leading the team in average time on ice with 23:19 per game.

The lack of offensive production could have hurt Johnson's chances to make the Olympic team, as they decided to go with two younger players in Justin Faulk and Cam Fowler instead.  Considering how loyal Johnson has been to the national team, being snubbed this year has to sting.


Bobby Ryan, RW, Ottawa Senators

There were a lot of deserving players to be on the United States Olympic roster this year, but perhaps the biggest snub of all was to the high-scoring Bobby Ryan.

Jeff O'Neill from the NHL on TSN was surprised by Ryan not making the team.

In 42 games played this year, Ryan has had 18 goals and 18 assists, giving him a strong 36 points this season.  Excluding the shortened season last year, Ryan had scored 30 goals in four straight seasons and is on pace to do so again this year.  

Ryan represented the United States at the Vancouver games back in 2010 as a silver medalist, grabbing a goal and an assist in six games played.  

With how well Ryan has played during his NHL career, this is certainly a big snub.  But at the same time the Olympic team is quite deep on the wing and they have a lot of talented players.  Ryan has been a productive player, but he may struggle on the larger ice due to his speed and defense.

Still, with what Ryan has done, it was a surprise to not see him on the Olympic team once again.