When Jack Johnson was selected for Team USA, I thought JJ was probably the fourth-best American defenseman on the Kings this season. Scuderi, Greene and Drewiske were all playing better hockey at the time of his selection. I'm sure JJ's international experience and performance in last year's World Championships helped his selection.
Now, ESPN reports that Team USA defenseman Paul Martin has not healed quickly enough from his arm-injury to skate for the Americans in Vancouver. Martin's replacement has not been announced yet but a few have speculated on Martin's possible replacement being Ducks defenseman Ryan Whitney.
Conference call tomorrow decided Paul Martin's replacement on U.S. squad, but bet on it being Anaheim's Ryan Whitney.
Bob McKenzie also agreed with the report. I'm not familiar enough with Martin's game but I've seen enough of Whitney to know that he's not the best USA defenseman not on Team USA.
If they're looking for offense; Atlanta's sophomore blueliner Zach Bogosian is the answer. If they're looking for a warrior; I think Tim Gleason, Matt Greene and Rob Scuderi could all fill-in. If this was a typical international tournament on the international ice-surface; I don't think any of theses guys would have a chance but on an NHL-sized rink they'll be fine.
Apparently, Toronto's Mike Komisarek is recovering slowly and may miss the Olympics as well. Tim Gleason looks to be his replacement. Good pick. I like it. Although, I'd like to think Greener and Scuds were on Burkie's short-list.