January 4, 2010: When the U.S. hockey team hits the ice at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February, some 30 years after the 1980 'Miracle on Ice' team won the gold medal, don't be surprised to hear that some of them had their IDs checked for being under age. The average age of Team USA's roster is 26.5, with Patrick Kane the youngest at 21 and Phil Kessel and Bobby Ryan close behind at 22. In addition, only three players have previous Olympic experience: Chris Drury (2002, 2006), Brian Rafalski (2002, 2006) and Jamie Langenbrunner (1998) included among the 23-man roster.
In fact, 18 players on the roster were not yet born or were one when the US National Hockey Team achieved its miracle on ice and won the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid, NY, which included Bob Suter, whose son Ryan is on the 2010 team.
Brian Rafalski the oldest player on Team USA at age 36. Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is the head coach of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's hockey team, with Scott Gordon, head coach of the New York Islanders, and John Tortorella, head coach of the New York Rangers, serving as assistant coaches.
The XXI Olympic Winter Games will be played Feb. 16-28 in Vancouver, B.C. The squad was unveiled on NBC during the telecast of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day. The Olympics also will be broadcast on NBC.
"Our management group has worked hard to put together a group of players that will give us the best chance to win the gold medal in Vancouver and we feel like we've done that," Brian Burke, general manager of Team USA, said in a statement. "We had some difficult decisions to make, but that's a credit to USA Hockey and depth of the player pool in our country."
According to Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, "The Olympic hockey tournament in Vancouver will be like no other. We appreciate the hard work that has gone into putting this team together and know we have a terrific group of players to represent our country."
2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team
Goaltenders: Tim Thomas, 35 (Boston Bruins), Ryan Miller, 29 (Buffalo Sabres), Jonathan Quick, 24 (Los Angeles Kings)
Defense: Brian Rafalski, 36 (Detroit Red Wings), Ryan Suter, 25 (Nashville Predators), Paul Martin 28 (New Jersey Devils), Mike Komisarek, 28 (Toronto Maple Leafs), Erik Johnson, 21 (St. Louis Blues), Brooks Orpik, 29 (Pittsburgh Pittsburgh), Jack Johnson, 23 (Los Angeles Kings)
Forwards: Zach Parise, 25 (New Jersey Devils), Chris Drury, 32 (New York Rangers), Dustin Brown, 25 (Los Angeles Kings), Jamie Langenbrunner, 34 (New Jersey Devils), Paul Stastny, 24 (Colorado Avalanche), David Backes, 25 (St. Louis Blues), Patrick Kane, 21 (Chicago Blackhawks), Phil Kessel, 22 (Toronto Maple Leafs), Ryan Kesler, 25 (Vancouver Canucks), Bobby Ryan, 22 (Anaheim Ducks), Joe Pavelski, 25 (San Jose Sharks), Ryan Malone, 31 (Tampa Bay Lightning), Ryan Callahan, 24 (New York Rangers).
Source: USA Hockey
Team USA 2010 Olympic Winter Games Schedule
Tues., Feb. 16
Switzerland 12 p.m.(local time)
Thurs., Feb. 18
Norway 12 p.m (local time)
Sun., Feb. 21
Canada 4:40 p.m. (local time)
Wed., Feb. 24
Fri., Feb. 26
Sun., Feb. 27
Bronze-Medal Game 7 p.m. (local time)
Mon., Feb. 28
Gold-Medal Game 12:15 p.m (local time)