- Rick Nash and Marc Staal were invited to the Canadian Olympic Orientation camps. A surprising omission? Dan Girardi. It's obvious that Nash was going to get an invite, and a healthy Staal makes a ton of sense to shore up Canada's blue line but I'm surprised Girardi didn't get a tryout.
- Why should Girardi get a tryout? He's an animal, can soak up big minutes, add a little bit of offense and do whatever they need of him. He could play big minutes for Canada or maybe even a third pairing role. They could do a lot of things with him, but they didn't invite him for this conversation is moot.
- Will Staal make the team? Maybe. I think a lot of it depends on his eye injury and how quickly he's healed. We're not sure where Staal is at in the healing process or where he expects to be and when, but for right now I think the assumption is he's going to be able to start the season healthy for the Rangers. We haven't heard anything either way, though, so you never know.
- I think Oscar Lindberg's inclusion in Sweden's camp says a lot about how far he's come as a player. He had a remarkable year last year, was a finalist for the SEL MVP and was a force (repeat, one of the best players in the league) during the playoffs. It's expected he'll compete for a spot on the team this year, and I think Sweden showing how impressed they are with him helps show fans just how close this kid might be.
- Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan for team USA. Ho hum.
- Want to talk about another player who has made serious strides? Stepan. We've talked about him a lot, I know, but it goes without saying he's probably going to be looked at as a pretty big cog in this USA machine. Same goes for McDonagh, but again, that's not a surprise.
- Anyone think Callahan might fight to wear a letter or even captain the team this year? The man is a born leader and wears the "C" for New York. Might make sense.