Solid generation of American D-men

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by PaulieVegas, Oct 3, 2011.

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  1. PaulieVegas

    PaulieVegas Registered User

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    The one area where Canada's been heads-up-and-above everyone is on defense, in most tournaments Canada has guys not make the team that would be the #2 or even #1 D-man on most other teams. But the USA is producing a solid crop of young defensemen, and if they all pan out the way they're supposed to (key word: if), we could be looking at a pretty sick corps of D-linemen in Sochi:

    Erik Johnson-Jack Johnson
    Ryan Suter-Dustin Byfluglien
    Cam Fowler-John Carlson
    Zach Bogosian

    Again, that assumes these guys pan out the way they should, EJ and Bogosian probably being the biggest question marks. And that assumes we only decide to take young kids, Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin will still be in their early 30's. And there's other guys who should make the team but might get squeezed out, like Alex Goligoski, Kevin Shattenkirk, and both the Greene's.

    Not prepared to compare this generation to the Leetch-Chelios-Housley-Suter-Hatcher x2 generation of American defensemen, or even to what Canada will bring to Sochi in 2014. But this has the chance to be a really good crop of D-men.
     
  2. Alberta tough

    Alberta tough Registered User

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    That is going to be a great lineup in 2014. Bogosian has looked great in the preseason. I am thinking he will have a very big year.
     
  3. Hi Paulie :

    I agree about Canada's abundance of D-Man. If you list the Top 10 D-Men in Vancouver, I believe 6 would have been Canadian. Just imagine how great we would be IF we had a world class goalie.

    ***

    As for your list of American D-Men... not fussy on the list or the order. If I am Brian Burke I drop Carlson, Bogosian and E.J. and add:

    a) Keith Yandle,
    b) Alex Goligoski,
    c) Kevin Shattenkirk.

    ***

    My order (of your list)...

    i) Ryan Suter - right now, the best of the group by far.

    ii) Jack Johnson - (+/-) is horrendous but still a good player.

    iii) Cam Fowler - could be the best of the bunch by 2014. He is, after all, Canadian (wink). :naughty:

    iv) Dustin Byfluglien - Good in big games but not sure if I want him as a Top 4 on my Olympic team.
    Instead, Bottom 2, and works the Power Play.

    v) John Carlson - I am not sure... at times he looks great in Washington but, then again, so does Mike Green.
    Neither he nor Mike Green play on their Olympic teams.

    vi) Erik Johnson - Give me a 'B'. Give me a 'U'. Give me a 'S'. Give me a 'T'. What does it spell???
    "NO GO FOR SOCHI !!!!"

    vii) Zach Bogosian - Eeeeekkkkkk!!!!!
     
    Last edited by moderator : Oct 3, 2011
  4. If I am Brian Burke my Top 7 American D-Men in Sochi are :

    Suter - Jack Johnson
    Yandle - Fowler
    Byfluglien - Goligoski
    Shattenkirk


    Those 7 might compete with Sweden for the 2nd best D.

    ************

    Best D's in Sochi, on paper, in order...

    Canada
    Sweden
    US
    Slovakia
    Russia
    Czechs
    Finland

    **

    Best O in Sochi, on paper, in order...

    Canada
    Russia
    Sweden
    US
    Slovakia
    Czech
    Finland

    ***

    Best Goaltending in Sochi in Order...

    Finland
    U.S.
    Sweden
    Slovakia
    Canada
    Russia
    Czech

    ************

    Having said all that... on the Big Ice, Canada and the US could get lost and play like they did in Italy.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Oct 3, 2011
  5. I agree...

    If you compare the U.S. 95 World Cup Team vs the U.S. Sochi Team there is a (big) drop everywhere but goal.

    Looking back, that 95 team was GREAT !!!
     
    Last edited by moderator : Oct 3, 2011
  6. PaulieVegas

    PaulieVegas Registered User

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    You know what, I feel so stupid. I completely forgot about Yandle. It's funny, because as I was looking at the list and saw that I had EJ on it, I felt like I was missing something.

    Drop EJ and add Yandle. I think EJ's had enough time to prove he had the potential to be a #1 defenseman and he hasn't proven it. He's proven he can be a solid player, but not the dominant defenseman we all thought he'd be. And I don't think he'll be much better in 2014. In sum, he's good, but I no longer believe in his upside the way I do Carlson, Fowler, and Shattenkirk.

    For the record, I wasn't trying to pair guys up or set lines, I was just trying to name names. Maybe I shouldn't have done the "Guy X-Guy Y" thing. I agree that Buff probably isn't a top-4 defenseman for the USA, and he won't be in 2014 either.

    I think you're being hard on Carlson, I think he's morphing into a fine player on both offense and defense. I definitely believe he'll be one of our top 7 in 2014.

    As for Fowler being Canadian...you're right, he was born in Canada. Just like Tyler Myers was born in the USA. Wanna trade? ;)
     
  7. PaulieVegas

    PaulieVegas Registered User

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    I don't agree with that at all (it was 1996, BTW). We have some really good forwards right now, and I think that they do rival the 1996 forwards. Our D-men lag behind their 1996 equivalents, but we're getting stronger and I think we'll produce a group that could rival them, but not exceed them.
     
  8. LOL... You got me there...

    **

    But NOT here... :naughty:

    I don't believe the current US team has players that can compete with :

    Hull (Canadian/Best/Wink),
    Guerin,
    Amonte,
    Weight,
    Rolston,
    Madano,
    Tkatchuk,
    LeClair,
    Pat LaFontaine
    Jeremy Roenick - Can't remember why he did NOT play. Do you remember?

    Other than Parise, Kane and Kesler, I don't know of any American kids in their league - above.

    If you can tell me more (be critical / honest) please add to the list.

    :)
     
  9. Was it? After the U.S. won I went into a "shock/depression coma" and years surrounding the loss are a blur. Never fully recovered until 2002. :laugh:
     
    Last edited by moderator : Oct 4, 2011
  10. PaulieVegas

    PaulieVegas Registered User

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    I'm not sure why Roenick didn't play. Wikipedia says he missed the last 11 games of the 1995-1996 season with a sprained ankle, but I can't imagine it wasn't healed in time for him to play.

    IMO, there's no reason why by the time their careers are over that Bobby Ryan, Dustin Brown, Paul Stastny, Ryan Callahan, David Backes, Joe Pavelski, and Phil Kessel (when he's on his game) can't go down as players that were as good as Weight, Guerin, and Amonte. And Ryan has the chance to join the three guys you mentioned and become as good as guys like LaFontaine, Modano, Tkachuk, and Roenick...all of whom were on a bit higher level then Guerin, Weight or Amonte.

    Let's not debate Hull's nationality, because neither of us is wrong. Hull spent nine months in the womb of an American mother, which I think means more to your nationality than someone who just donated the sperm. Plus, he was born in Canada by chance. It's a little known fact that the only reason he was born in Canada is because his family spent the offseason in Ontario, and he happened to be born in the offseason. Did you know he has four siblings and all of them were born in the US? Had he been born in December, there would be no debate. On the other hand, when originally given the choice of which team to play for, he chose Canada, and he only went to play for the USA because Canada didn't want him. Let's just say he's "Camerican," but he played for the USA.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  11. Aye buddy,

    I will give you Bobby Ryan - good pick. I forgot about him. Endless potential there.

    Paul Stastny and Dustin Brown are maybes but even then... I don't know... (Very) Good but NOT great.

    Callahan, Backes, Pavelski and Kessel are not in their leagues - you are being unfair (and, I am going to say it, CRUEL!!!) to the great US players of the 90's. :sarcasm:
     
  12. Avs71

    Avs71 Registered User

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    Seriously? People are picking Jack Johnson over Erik Johnson?

    EJ
    225 games played, 121 points, -21.

    JJ
    282 games played, 100 points, -78.

    :help:
     
  13. William H Bonney

    William H Bonney Registered User

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    Jack has represented Team USA every chance he's been asked, thus being in much better standing with Team USA officials, and was much better than EJ at the Olympics. That's why. Either way, there's tons of good, young American defenseman and defensive prospects so the competition will be stiff. And I hope the choices that have to be made are dreadfully tough because of it.
     
  14. PaulieVegas

    PaulieVegas Registered User

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    Yeah but I think you're maybe overrating some of the US players of the 90's a little bit. IMO, of the guys you mentioned, there are two tiers: guys who were All-Star calibre players (Guerin, Weight, Amonte, Rolton, LeClair) and guys who were Hall of Fame calibre players (Modano, Tkachuk, Roenick, Hull, LaFontaine). I'm trying to compare guys like Callahan, Backes, Stastny, Brown, Pavelski, and an in-form Kessel to the All-Star calibre players only. I think they all have the potential (as do some other current American players) to be as good by the end of their careers as guys like Guerin or Amonte were. They're still young and still have a lot of career ahead of them, but it wouldn't surprise me if by the end they could be compared to a player like Guerin.

    On the other hand, none of them will probably reach the heights of a guy like Mike Modano or Pat LaFontaine. But Kane, Parise, Ryan, and Kesler do have the potential to reach that level.
     
  15. PaulieVegas

    PaulieVegas Registered User

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    That's certainly something that's worth taking into consideration. JMFJ has never said no to his country. Meanwhile, EJ had a golden opportunity this offseason to boost his standing with the USA Hockey brass by playing in the Worlds when we were desperate for defensemen and instead he decided to get dental surgery (or something like that). Is JJ as good as EJ? Who knows. Does JJ want it more than EJ? Absolutely.

    Same reason I hope RJ Umberger never plays for the USA in an Olympic tournament. He's demonstrated on more than one occasion that he has things more important to him than representing the USA. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but when there are comparable players who have demonstrated a greater desire to represent their country, I'd take those guys instead.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  16. therealdeal

    therealdeal Registered User

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    More of a random question, but does Brian Burke get the job to construct the team in 2014 by default? Seems like he's been referred to a lot in this thread, are there any other choices?
     
  17. PaulieVegas

    PaulieVegas Registered User

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    No there are other potential American choices, like Paul Holmgren, David Poile (born in Canada but has been an executive with USA hockey since the late 1990's), Ray Shero, Dean Lombardi, and Don Waddell. They are all American GM's, it just so happens Burke is the best of them. They do work in connection with each other though, they all had input in the selection process for Vancouver.

    Of course, they could end up handing over the selection process to a suprise candidate the way Canada did with Yzerman.

    I think it will be really interesting to see who we pick to coach the 2014 team. Ron Wilson, John Tortorella, Dan Bylsma, Scott Gordon (please God no), Peter Laviolette could all be considered. And who knows what American will get the call up from the AHL soon and make an impact as an NHL coach (Ron Rolston? John Hynes?). Will be interesting to see who gets the job.
     
  18. William H Bonney

    William H Bonney Registered User

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    As long as he wants the job, I think they'll give it to him. But, if they take the same style approach as they did in 2010 (and there's no reason why they shouldn't) then it'll very much be a committee style approach with quite a few GMs with a voice in the process while Burke acts as the public (media) figurehead for them all. The GMs on the advisory committee basically all had a vote and it didn't always go Burke's way in the 2010 Olympic selection process. For example, Burke wanted to carry 12 forwards and 8 d-men in the 2010 Olympics but the majority of the other GMs wanted 13F and 7D. Burke relented to their opinion. For player rating purposes, they basically were all scouts and rated their eligible players accordingly, and updated their lists throughout the process, and then they took the combined lists to get final average rankings to use for their selections. Think much like the way Bob McKenzie does his NHL Draft Prospect rankings.

    The current members of the advisory committee for the USA Men's National Team include: Brian Burke (TOR), Paul Holmgren (PHI), Dean Lombardi (LA), Dave Poile (NAS), Ray Shero (PIT), Dale Tallon (FLA), and Don Waddell.

    I'm much more interested in who the coach will be. Right now, I'd have to think the frontrunner would be Dan Bylsma with Peter Laviolette in contention as well. Wilson did well, obviously, in the 2010 Olympics but new blood is good and who knows if he'll even be the coach of Toronto at that time anymore.
     
  19. Good/Interesting stats...

    I know JJ +/- is ALWAYS horrendous but...

    I don't know what it is. I don't know if it's because he (sometimes) plays with Drew Doughty but...

    JJ looks better to me. JJ looks more confident and in control than EJ. EJ often looks lost. Besides, there is a reason EJ was traded. You don't trade a Number 1 Overall without there being issues. I would take JJ over EJ.

    Having said that, as a Canadian, I would not include either of them on Team Canada - if it was possible.
     
  20. Your posts made me think...

    Who would I put on Team Canada if the Olympics were held tomorrow?

    My locks (in order...)

    Shea Weber
    Duncan Keith
    Drew Doughty
    Chris Pronger
    Brent Burns


    Too close to call (in order)...

    Dan Boyle - Today, yes. Sochi, too old???
    Kris Letang - Most under rated D-Man in hockey.
    Marc Staal - Hurt.
    Tyler Myers - Too young? Lock in Sochi. Thank you Texas!
    Brent Seabrook - Worst of Canada's Vancouver 7 by a mile.
    Alex Pietrangelo - Too young? MAY be a lock in Sochi.
    Mike Green - Oy Vey...
    Dion Phaneuf - Not in this lifetime.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Oct 6, 2011
  21. Avs71

    Avs71 Registered User

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    2006/09/29-Carolina Hurricanes traded Jack Johnson and Oleg Tverdovsky to the Los Angeles Kings for Tim Gleason and Eric Belanger.

    Not going to turn this into a debate, just wanted to point out that Jack Johnson was in fact traded too. I just really don't think getting traded is a good measure of if a player is good or not. There have been a lot of great defencemen traded. *Cough cough Pronger*.

    Didn't know about the whole Jack always represents, Erik skipped out. Good to know, and I can see why it matters. However, I do think they'll both be there in 2014. The US could definitely have a defensive group to rival Canada's.

    One guy I can't see panning out well enough to make the team is Bogosian.
     
  22. Well, I am going to turn this into a debate DAMMIT ;).

    :naughty:

    First, JJ was only traded because he did not want to play in Carolina - can't blame him there. Then, compared to his new buddy (prima donna) Drew Doughty, he became a mature, team oriented player in LA. LA would never trade him today. As one LA poster wrote (paraphrasing)...

    "JJ is half the player of DD but twice the man."

    EJ, on the other hand, was just traded recently.

    :p:

    Re : "The US could definitely have a defensive group to rival Canada's."

    I don't know buddy... Assuming Canada sends :

    Drew Doughty
    Shea Weber
    Duncan Keith
    Brent Burns
    Brent Seabrook
    Kris Letang
    Tyler Myers - Thank you Texas!

    Which American could bump one of those guys off the team? Maybe Suter? Other than that...

    Like I said, the U.S. will challenge Sweden for the 2nd best D in the tournament but to put them on on par with Canada is not fair or accurate.
     
  23. Avs71

    Avs71 Registered User

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    Haha, I know the circumstances were different. But as an obvious Avs fan, I hope this trade turns out similar to what Pronger's situation in Hartford was. Underachieving high draft pick of a defenceman for a powerforward (referencing Stewart for Johnson). High hopes, I know. Here is to hoping tonight is step 1 in becoming elite.

    Individually, no Canada's defense is obviously greater on paper. However, I could see the US icing a pretty effective defense that gets similar results. I don't want to argue this too much though, as I am Canadian, and hope the US always plays second fiddle in hockey.
     
  24. thomasincanada

    thomasincanada Registered User

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    I think the important thing to keep in mind is as long as they can ice legit d-men, and the US certainly can, who has the best on paper doesn't mean much in short tournaments. Whatever team *gels* the best will probably win. On paper they weren't even close to us 2010. On the ice they beat us once and almost twice.

    The big ice will also likely play a factor and I won't be stunned if neither the US nor Canada end up playing for gold.
     
  25. True. But how much of that was Miller?

    I agree. It is amazing how lost both Canada and the US can look on the BIG ice.
     

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