The best available, not the best possible.
That will be the standard refrain for Team Canada when it begin its title defense at the 2008 World Junior Championships against the host Czech Republic on Dec. 26. With at least six world-class forwards --
In the past, these missing-man formations have largely been a Canadian dilemma. Not anymore. It speaks volumes about the advances made by USA Hockey that the 2008 American team will be absent the services of three front-line players. When Team USA's 22-man lineup is revealed live during Tuesday night's Versus telecast of the Red Wings - Canadiens game, there'll be no sign of
While the presence of that talented trio would have had the Americans in line to challenge for gold after an impressive third-place finish in 2007, rookie coach
In the past, these rosters have featured their share of surprises, usually as a result of political infighting for which USA Hockey was notorious. Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be an issue this year, and that means the best American-born players, and not just the best players who play in America, will be on hand.
Well, most of them, anyway.
Here are the 22 names we expect to wear the red, white and blue in Liberec and Pardubice: