Olympic hockey is the greatest tournament that sports has ever known. Every 4 years, the best the world has to offer puts on a display that breaks hearts and spawns miracles. For USA hockey fans, both those experiences can be summed up in “Sidney #*$%&#! Crosby” and “1980″ respectively.
The New York Rangers have a deep pool of prospective Olympians. Although well represented in Sweden, Canada and even Norway; it’s team USA that matters for stateside hockey fans.
Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh are as assured a spot as health permits. Chris Kreider is making a late push for his own spot and that list has the potential to expand when they meet again in South Korea.
Each of those Americans is young enough to be in the conversation for 2018 if they simply maintain their current level of play. There’s also plenty of USA born flavor just getting their feet wet. JT Miller, Danny Kristo and (stretching things even further) Coner Allen, Brady Skjei and Boo Nieves could all factor in to the next roster of US Ranger Olympians.
The chances are slim that the entire group will still be wearing the blueshirt, or if each of those Team America prospects can durka durka durka their way into the fray. but it is safe to say that the Rangers roster could be quite influential to Team USA for the near future.
When the NHL pauses their season and the 2014 Olympics begin, most Rangers fans eyes will be on the Red, White and Blue of Team USA. Praying for health to the others and Gold for America. How much of a factor will certain Rangers play in defending that Gold four years later?
Can’t wait for Sochi.