If the start of the Olympic hockey tournament on Feb. 16 seems as far off as the glorious day of your retirement, the sight of the torch being lit in Greece on Thursday should bring its proximity into sharp focus.
Like objects in the rearview mirror, the Games are much closer than they appear. And so is the roster deadline. Tournament rules stipulate that all lineups must be finalized by Dec. 31, although it's expected that most countries will settle them earlier to maximize the public relations impact. That means we're two months, give or take, from the big days. And that ticking clock has to be a source of some discomfort for
Injuries and slow starts are plaguing hopefuls from both teams, and while there were expected to be plenty of moving parts as the lists were whittled down, what's surprising is the dwindling number of sure things.
There are other big gunners who are skating but, as
Of course, it's not all bad news. There've been some players for whom hot starts have been their entree into the conversation. Just one month into his career as a starter, Colorado's
All of these situations can change between now and New Year's Eve, but here's how we see the current status of 81 top Olympic hopefuls.