TORONTO, Canada — The groin injury suffered by Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has not ruined his chances of being chosen for the U.S. men's Olympic team for the Sochi Games, Team USA General Manager David Poile said Thursday.
Poile and other USA Hockey executives reaffirmed during a conference call that the U.S. men’s and women’s teams will be announced on Jan. 1 during the national telecast of the Winter Classic game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. The women’s team will be announced during the second intermission and the men’s team will be announced after the game.
Quick, the third goalie for Team USA when it won silver at Vancouver in 2010, sustained a Grade 2 groin strain on Nov. 12. He’s not the only potential U.S. Olympian who is injured: Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik suffered a concussion a few days ago and New York Rangers forward Ryan Callahan sprained his left knee earlier this week and is expected to be out four to six weeks.
Poile used Quick as an example of how the Olympic management committee will deal with injured players.
“The information that we have from Los Angeles, specifically from Dean Lombardi, tells us that he’s going to be back before the end of the year,” Poile said. “If he’s a guy that we want on the team, we will name him to the team.
“If, for some reason, between then and the start of the Olympics he can’t play because this injury didn’t come around or what have you, we will be able to replace that player .… If we think any of these players are going to be on the Olympic team or we want them on the Olympic team and they’re going to be healthy by Feb. 11, then we’ll have to leave them on the team and then we’ll have to deal with replacing them if their injury doesn’t come around.”
Poile, who is also general manager of the NHL’s Nashville Predators, said he and his Team USA colleagues are focusing on line combinations and defense pairings. He also said that while the core of the team is expected to be members of the 2010 squad, there will be “some new players, up-and-coming young players who are just too good to keep off the team.”
The U.S. women’s team, which is two players over its roster limit, will face traditional rival Canada Thursday night in Calgary. That game will be televised on Universal Sports at 6 p.m. Pacific time.
Two other U.S.-Canada women's games — Dec. 20 at Grand Forks, N.D., and Dec. 28 at St. Paul, Minn. — will be broadcast on NBCSN, and Universal Sports will pick up another game between the teams, on Dec. 30 at Toronto.
The Kings, incidentally, are enjoying a day off in Toronto on Thursday following their 3-1 victory over the Maple Leafs. They’re scheduled to practice in the area Friday and then fly to Ottawa to face the Senators on Saturday.