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Coyotes GM discusses Yandle missing out on Olympic nod

Jan 1, 2014, 11:41 PM EDT

keithyandlegetty Getty Images

Bobby Ryan might be the headlining “snub” for the U.S. Olympic team, but Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle isn’t far behind him. The 27-year-old wasn’t available when news surfaced that he wasn’t among American GM David Poile’s eight defensive choices, so Coyotes GM Don Maloney ended up providing perspective to Fox Sports Arizona on Wednesday:

“It really speaks volumes for the depth and quality of players USA Hockey is putting out,” Maloney said. “I’m disappointed for Keith, but a 10-day break in February to regroup before the last six to seven weeks of the season is not the worst thing in the world for the Phoenix Coyotes.”

(With that thought process in mind, Maloney probably secretly hopes for some other “snubs” on his roster.)

Before hearing about the snub, Yandle discussed the enticing possibility of using his offensive skills on a larger Olympic ice surface.

“I’ve never been to Russia, so hopefully I’ll get the opportunity,” Yandle said. “I think that would be the best part — a lot of ice, a lot of room to skate. Here in the NHL, there’s a lot of big bodies out there and there’s not too much room to get around. You can use your skating a little bit more (on the bigger surface).”

Assuming injuries won’t open the door for Yandle to play for the USA after all, that quote might provide a few “What if?” questions for Yandle, American fans and maybe even the U.S. brass … especially if the team’s other blueliners fail to produce offense with that extra room.

  1. esracerx46 - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    What’s as surprising as Yandle being snubbed is how often his name used to pop up in the trade rumor mill.

  2. itsallniceonice - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:06 AM

    The fact that Orpik and Martin will be out there skating but not Yandle is hilarious.

    • c9castine - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:44 AM

      whys that? because they play for the pens right?

      • upper90cheese - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:34 AM

        Playing for Kansas City is not the reason it’s laughable. It’s because they aren’t as good as Yandle. Orpik gets the nod for his international expereince and leadership. Martin on the other hand makes zero sense. One can only assume it is a personal thing with Poille/Shero. Sad.

        Almost as sad as not having Ben Bishop on the roster.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        bishop shouldve made it over howard for sure. i think if the choice came down to martin or yandle, the got a more defensively sound guy in martin…who knows if he will even be ready to go by then though so it could be a wash and yandle is there anyway.

  3. 19to77 - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    Thing about Yandle is that he can be pretty touch-and-go defensively. He’s not a bad player in his own zone, but he takes risks for his offensive plays and sometimes he gets burned. With all the offensive options at forward and a couple less risky playmakers at defense (Suter especially), Poile and co. figured they could pass on him. High-risk, high-reward offensive defensemen make sense in the NHL, but in the Olympics you’ve got access to the best offensive choices your whole country can produce – so you don’t really need those risky defensemen as much. Personally I might have taken him over Fowler to serve in a similar offensive role, but the omission makes sense and it’s hard to criticize too harshly.

  4. lowenni - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Unrelated to Yandle, but here’s a good behind-the-scenes look at how the roster was chosen:

    • lowenni - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:30 AM

      Forgot to post the link….here:

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/2014/01/01/how-olympic-hockey-team-was-picked/4279829/

      • JoeAvg - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        Good read. Thanks for the link.

    • runhigh24 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      Crazy how Burke basically slandered Ryan and Yandle in the selection process. It’s almost like he has a personal vendetta against these guys.

  5. brockohol - Jan 2, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Poile should get a little cred because he has put a relatively competitive team on the ice in Nashville with limited funds or whatever…But has anyone questioned why Burke is in a position to make big decisions like this? Is there some unknown track record that is being hidden from us that actually shows a semblance of successful decisions from him over the past 5 years?

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