High-scoring Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle was left off the Team USA roster. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)
The United States men's Olympic hockey team announced following Wednesday's Winter Classic outdoor game in Ann Arbor, Michigan will leave behind a handful of high-scoring NHL stars and feature a newly made-over corps of defensemen.
The 25-man roster includes 13 players who were on the U.S. team that lost to Canada in overtime in 2010. Omissions that have already sparked controversy on social media include high-scoring Senators winger Bobby Ryan and Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson. Ryan played in the 2010 Olympics and Johnson is a longtime Team USA veteran. High-scoring Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle also was left off the U.S. roster that includes 14 forwards, eight defensemen and three goalies.
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The Team USA goalie battle will feature the Kings' Jonathan Quick and the Sabres' Ryan Miller. Red Wings' goalie Jimmy Howard is expected to be the team's No. 3 netminder, despite playing poorly in a season that's also included a knee injury. Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was expected to get consideration in light of his outstanding NHL play this season, but the Team USA selection committee reportedly wanted goalies with more experience, according to ESPN's Scott Burnside.
. . . the selection committee made up of David Poile, Ray Shero, Brian Burke, Stan Bowman, Dean Lombardi, Paul Holmgren, Dale Tallon, Jim Johannson and Don Waddell believed that Bishop's lack of NHL playoff experience and poor play at the World Championships was enough of a red flag to go with Howard, who has significantly more NHL playoff experience than Bishop or New Jersey Devils netminder Cory Schneider -- the other serious candidate to make the team.
Burnside also reports the Jets' Blake Wheeler and the Blues' T.J. Oshie were selected ahead of Brandon Saad, but the Blackhawks forward would likely be added if an injury occurs.
Go to USA Hockey's website for the entire roster.
The roster announcement created some criticism among past and present NHL names: