By amuir29
January 01, 2014

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson was left off the 2014 USA Olympic hockey team. Blueliner Jack Johnson's fire will likely be missed in big games. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

A look at the worthy players who were left out when the roster for Team USA was announced today in Ann Arbor:

MUIR: Cuts show depth, potential of Team USA


Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning): No American has more wins or a better save percentage than the 27-year-old, but his lack of experience hurt. He would have been slotted at No. 3 at best, so he was unlikely to have seen action in any case.

Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils): A real talent and a big-game player, but he's never really got his feet under him since his trade to the Devils.


Keith Yandle (Phoenix Coyotes): The skilled two-way defender probably lost out to the similarly skilled Cam Fowler for the final spot. In case of injury, he's the odds-on favorite to get the call.

Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets): He would have been a real weapon on the power play, but his defensive deficiencies cost him.

Jack Johnson (Columbus Blue Jackets): He hasn't had a terrific year, but Johnson has always upped his game whenever he's put on a U.S. uniform. In big games against Canada or Russia, the Americans might wind up wishing they had this fierce competitor on hand.

Erik Johnson (Colorado Avalanche): Though he was thought by many to be a lock for the squad, the U.S. brain trust chose Brooks Orpik (and his chemistry with Paul Martin) to fill a defense-first role.

Andy Greene (New Jersey Devils): A nice all-around player, but not good enough at any one element of the game to truly set himself apart from the crowd.

Seth Jones (Nashville Predators): An invite to the summer camp, a heavy workload early in the season and a relationship with GM David Poile had him in Team USA's sights, but he fell out of the mix with a rough November.


Bobby Ryan (Ottawa Senators): He's the sort of player who can break open a tight game with a big goal ... but that's not enough to make this team anymore. His average foot speed might also have been an issue.

Kyle Okposo (New York Islanders): He ranks second in scoring among all Americans with 40 points, but he's a right winger — the one position where the U.S. is loaded. He might get the call if Ryan Callahan can't go.

Brandon Saad (Chicago Blackhawks): Sure, he's young, but his poise under pressure last spring, his strength on the puck and his versatility earned him a long look. Ultimately, Team USA decided to rely on experience instead. His time will come ... this just isn't his time.

Jason Pominville (Minnesota Wild): If the U.S. falls in a shootout, this might be the guy they regret overlooking. He's slick, quick and versatile, but again, just not quite good enough to displace a better-rounded player.

Brandon Dubinsky (Columbus Blue Jackets): It probably came down to him and Derek Stepan to fill the fourth-line role. Dubinsky plays a more aggressive, sandpapery game, but Stepan's scoring ability made him more appealing.

Alex Galchenyuk (Montreal Canadiens):

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