USA Hockey Will Announce Sochi Olympic Teams at 2014 Winter Classic

Olympic HockeyThe United States will be among the top contenders at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and on New Year’s Day, we’ll learn which players will lead the red, white and blue on its gold medal quest.

USA Hockey announced Monday¬†that both the men’s and women’s squads for Sochi will be unveiled during the Winter Classic, which this year takes place at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

“We are one of the four or five teams that legitimately has a chance to win a gold medal in Sochi,” Nashville Predators general manager and Team USA architect David Poile said on Monday. He also noted that about 50 percent of the Sochi team will include players who were on the Vancouver squad that won silver in 2010.

Even though many spots on the final Olympic roster will be determined by who performs at the highest level over the first three months of the regular season, such NHL stars as Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and likely No. 1 goaltender Jonathan Quick should be locks to make the team.

The United States has been placed in Group A for the men’s competition, which includes Slovakia, Slovenia and host nation Russia. Team USA will open group play on Thursday, Feb. 13 against Slovakia.