After another thrilling Winter Classic was complete at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the United States Olympic team was announced with Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh all being named to the squad.
For the full roster, click here.
While Callahan and McDonagh were locks, there were some questions of whether Stepan had played himself off the team and it wasn't until the roster unveiling ceremony that the Rangers center found out he made the team…
"It's a great honor," offered Stepan. "I wasn't sure I was going to be there or not, and it's just something I am really grateful for…It was a pretty cool way to find out."
In a piece on how the U.S. Olympic roster was created, Scott Burnside at ESPN reports that there were some fleeting thoughts of leaving Stepan off the roster due to his struggles this season, but team management wanted five centers which all but guaranteed him a spot.
…as if I wasn't already going to be out of my mind pumped about rooting for Team USA, to now have three Rangers on the roster will be real special.
…i'm still not convinced Stepan will be automatically penciled into the line-up every game, but he'll get his fair share of playing time and I have sneaking suspicion he'll make a positive impact on the big stage. See Chris Drury in 2010.
…as far as McDonagh goes, I'm really looking forward to him dominating on the international stage. Could see him possibly paired with an offensive defenseman like Carlson.
…i think there's a strong chance Callahan gets a letter on his sweater. Probably not captain, but I could definitely see wearing an "A."
…while winning the gold is the #1 goal, keeping these three, along with the other Rangers lucky enough to participate in the Olympics, healthy is the number priority in my opinion as the Blueshirts can't afford to lose any of them to injury if they want to make a serious run at the Stanley Cup.