Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By ART REGNER  |  Last updated 8/27/13
On Monday at the Washington Capitals training facility, USA Hockey began the process of assembling Team USA for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Three Detroit Red Wings -- goalie Jimmy Howard, forward Justin Abdelkader and defenseman Danny DeKeyser -- were among 48 players invited to participate in a two-day orientation camp, which concluded Tuesday. Four years ago, Team USA officials abandoned the old guard for the Vancouver Olympic Games by choosing a younger, less-heralded roster that came within an overtime goal of capturing the gold medal. It appears that spots aren't as wide open as they were back in 2010 and that Team USAs final roster will be greatly influenced by how players perform during the upcoming NHL season; however, being a camp invitee puts Howard, Abdelkader and DeKeyser on Team USAs map. What are the chances that each of the Wings trio becomes a first-time Olympian? The answer will become much clearer as the NHL season unfolds, but here are my initial thoughts about their chances: Howard: Goaltending is Team USAs strength with Jonathan Quick a shoe-in to be the starter in net. Theres only one thing Howard wants more than being a member of Team USA -- that's winning a Stanley Cup. Hes focused and has his sights set on both. Howard is an extremely determined athlete, and his competitiveness is off the charts. With his workhorse mentality and a very good Red Wings team in front of him, he has a golden opportunity to land the spot as either Quicks backup or as Team USAs third goalie. Abdelkader: A gritty player who can skate, he'll benefit tremendously by playing on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Detroits brass has always felt that Abdelkader has an offensive upside and saves his best for the biggest games. Playing on Olympic ice -- coupled with his physical style and reputation -- gives Abdelkader a reasonable shot to be a productive member on Team USAs third or fourth line. Crazy thought for your consideration -- if Mike Babcock was Team USAs coach, not Team Canadas, Abdelkader would make the final roster. DeKeyser: Team USA is loaded on the blue line, so DeKeyser would have to emerge as an elite NHL defenseman this season to have a legitimate shot. Chris Chelios told me that DeKeyser doesnt do anything great, but does everything very well. That wouldve worked in 2010 and sets him up nicely for 2018. Unfortunately, it probably won't be good enough for 2014. Realistically, there's too much proven talent and experienced defensemen for DeKeyser to crack this lineup.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker