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Notes on Team USA Olympic picks

January 1, 2010 |  2:46 pm

A few quick notes about the selection of the U.S. men's Olympic hockey team, while we await a news conference with USA Hockey executives:

Team USA's roster of three goalies, seven defensemen and 13 forwards averages 26.5 years old. Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski is the oldest at 36 and Chicago forward Patrick Kane is the youngest at 21.

For a team that's struggling in the standings, the Ducks have a lot of players heading to the Olympics. The selection of winger Bobby Ryan gives them eight players on four teams: Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on Team Canada, Jonas Hiller and Luca Sbisa with Switzerland, and Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu for Finland.

Ryan is only the second Duck chosen to play for Team USA, after goaltender Guy Hebert in 1998. However, Hebert didn't play at the Nagano Games, so Ryan could be the first Duck to actually appear in the Olympic tournament representing Team USA. Ryan, incidentally, is tied with Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone for the most goals by a U.S.-born NHL player this season, at 19 each.

The Kings will have five Olympians. Besides goaltender Jonathan Quick, defenseman Jack Johnson and right wing Dustin Brown on Team USA, they'll have defenseman Drew Doughty playing for Team Canada and center Michal Handzus playing for Slovakia.

Quick, who beat out Colorado's Craig Anderson for the third spot, is the only member of the team who has not represented the U.S. in international competition.

Defenseman Ryan Suter is the son of 1980 "Miracle on Ice" defenseman Bob Suter and nephew of longtime NHL defenseman Gary Suter.

Brian Burke, general manager of Team USA, is saying that players who were not picked should remain in the Olympic drug testing program in case they're called upon to replace an injured player. The roster doesn't have to be submitted until Feb. 15, the night before the men's tournament opener.

Notable omissions: Scott Gomez, Mike Modano, Bill Guerin. "To turn the page from that generation took a lot of soul-searching,"  Burke said.

More later at www.latimes.com/sports.

-- Helene Elliott

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