Capitals have difficult season ahead
When the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team reports to Ketter Capitals Iceplex for its orientation camp late next month, the nation’s best players won’t be hitting the ice.
The orientation camp, which is expected to feature 40 of the nation’s top NHL players, was originally scheduled for five days from Aug. 25-29 and include on-ice practices. But because the NHL and its players could not secure insurance for the contracts of the players during their orientation camps, Team USA has decided not to put the players at risk with on-ice workouts.
The NHL announced on Friday that the league will suspend operations to allow players to participate in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia from Feb. 12-23.
“The camp will give us a chance to get our players, coaches, management and team staff together in preparation for Sochi,” said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and a two-time Olympian. “We’ll have more details surrounding the camp to announce in the weeks ahead.”
Despite their decision not to hit the ice, Team USA will have access to Capitals’ training complex in downtown Ballston. The 20,000-square-foot training center features a large weight and fitness room, extensive athletic-training and medical facilities, a spacious locker room and lounge area, a theater-style classroom and a high-tech video room.
The Team USA management team consists of former Capitals and current Nashville Predators general manager David Poile, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero and Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke.
The coaching staff will be headed by Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma.
Players expected to attend the orientation camp at Kettler include 2010 silver medalists Zach Parise, Phil Kessel, Ryan Miller and Patrick Kane. Jonathan Quick is expected to challenge Miller for the starting job in goal.