Projecting rosters for World Cup of Hockey participants
John Tortorella is juggling two jobs, coaching both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Team USA. Canada general manager Doug Armstrong is worried about disappointing players twice when it comes to making the final cuts to his World Cup of Hockey roster.
And Team Europe GM Miroslav Satan joked that he doesn't ever recall watching this much hockey on TV during his 14-season NHL career, but scouting has kept his eyes glued to the screen.
Add in the NHL's trading deadline Monday, and it's going to be a frantic few days before the eight World Cup teams announcing the initial 16 players named to rosters on Wednesday.
''We're on conference calls once a week,'' said Tortorella, who was out of work when USA Hockey hired him as coach in September before taking over in Columbus a month later. ''It's been stimulating knowing we're going to be in a tournament with the best players in the world.''
Armstrong doesn't expect many surprises to come on Wednesday. The bigger challenge will be making the final seven selections when full rosters are due on June 1.
''Usually, when you pick Team Canada, you disappoint people once,'' Armstrong said. ''Some players will be disappointed twice in this format.''
Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic round out the six nations competing in the three-week tournament to be held in Toronto in September. And there will be two all-star teams. One will be made up of North American players 23 years and younger, and the other comprised of European players whose nations weren't invited.
With nearly a dozen countries to choose from, Satan has been busy scouting and reviewing his staff's evaluations.
''Definitely, this is the most as far as watching hockey in a long, long period of time,'' he said.
Here's a glance of the first 16 players projected by The Associated Press to be named to the Canadian, American, North American and European squads, and capsule glances of the four other teams:
CANADA (Group A)
Forwards: Jamie Benn, Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Tyler Seguin, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Jonathan Toews.
Defensemen: Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, P.K. Subban, Shea Weber.
Goaltenders: Braden Holtby, Roberto Luongo, Carey Price.
On the bubble: F Jeff Carter, G Corey Crawford, D Mark Giordano.
EUROPE (Group A)
Forwards: Mikkel Boedker, Leon Draisaitl, Marian Gaborik, Michael Grabner, Marian Hossa, Anze Kopitar, Frans Nielsen, Tomas Tatar, Thomas Vanek, Mats Zuccarello.
Defense: Zdeno Chara, Roman Josi, Dennis Seidenberg, Mark Streit.
Goalies: Frederik Andersen, Jaroslav Halak.
On the bubble: F Lars Eller, F Zemgus Girgensons, G Kristers Gudlevskis.
NORTH AMERICA (Group B)
Forwards: Max Domi, Jack Eichel, Johnny Gaudreau, Jonathan Huberdeau, Dylan Larkin, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Brandon Saad.
Defense: Aaron Ekblad, Shayne Gostisbehere, Seth Jones, Ryan Murray, Morgan Rielly.
Goalies: John Gibson, Connor Hellebuyck.
On the bubble: F Sean Couturier, F Boone Jenner, D Jacob Trouba.
USA (Group A)
Forwards: David Backes, Tyler Johnson, Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, T.J. Oshie, Max Pacioretty, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Blake Wheeler.
Defense: John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Suter.
Goalies: Ben Bishop, Jonathan Quick.
On the bubble: D Dustin Byfuglien, F Bobby Ryan, G Cory Schneider.
CZECH REPUBLIC (Group A)
Face of the team: Jaromir Jagr
Top youngster: David Pastrnak
On the back end: Andrej Sustr
International history: Won Olympic gold medal at Nagano (1998) and bronze at Turin (2006).
FINLAND (Group B)
Face of the team: Tuukka Rask
Top youngster: Mikael Granlund
On the back end: Olli Maatta
International history: Won Olympic bronze medals at Sochi (2014) and Vancouver (2010).
RUSSIA (Group B)
Face of the team: Alex Ovechkin
Top youngster: Evgeny Kuznetsov
On the back end: Andrei Markov
International history: Lost to Canada at Vancouver Games quarterfinals, lost to Finland in semifinals on home ice in Sochi.
SWEDEN (Group B)
Face of the team: Daniel Sedin.
Top youngster: John Klingberg.
On the back end: Erik Karlsson.
International history: Won Olympic gold at Turin and silver at Sochi.
AP Hockey Writers Greg Beacham, Larry Lage and Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.