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Yandle admits Olympic snub is a ‘tough pill to swallow’

Jan 2, 2014, 1:43 PM EDT

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Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle didn’t try to sugarcoat his feelings about being left off of the 2014 U.S. Olympic team, as the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan reports.

“Obviously it’s a tough pill to swallow,” Yandle said on Thursday.

On the bright side, he mentioned that he’s been receiving texts of support from other players around the league, something that means a ton to him.

Of course, not every bit of commentary about the 27-year-old has been positive, as highly publicized fly-on-the-wall criticisms have been shared in stories from USA Today’s Kevin Allen and ESPN’s Scott Burnside. Yandle didn’t attempt to plead ignorance regarding those accounts, either.

“I read it,” Yandle said. “[Does it] affect me? No. Obviously people have opinions.”

“I try not to pay attention to that kind of stuff.”

In the meantime, he’ll try to channel that energy into his play for the Coyotes, who have pointed out the benefits of getting an Olympic break. It might take Yandle a while to embrace that mentality, though.

  1. thailer35 - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    As a Coyotes fan, I have long been a critic of Yandle. His last name has quite often been used as a synonym for a turnover in the defensive zone among Coyotes fans. I have been among those who shout at him from the stands and have called for trades that would ship him out of town.

    This year, however, Yandle has grown tremendously. Yes he has had the occasional turnover, but no where near the level of years before. Not to mention his offense as of late has been heroic. That being said, I think USA was right not to choose him. If this level of play had begun last year, I think he would have earned a spot. He just hasn’t been defensively sound consistently throughout his career, and on the bigger sheet, he is too much of a defensive liability.

    I hope he takes this as an opportunity to try to prove Polie and Co. wrong, and hopefully in March we can talk about how much better USA might have been if Yandle made the team.

  2. terrier92 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Interesting perspective thanks

  3. lowenni - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Should’ve made it over Orpik or Fowler.

    • areaman714 - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      Orpik maybe, not Fowler.

  4. dkphilly1122 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Yandle should have made it over others for sure. Just like Bobby Ryan should be on the team over plenty of others.

  5. coyotes89 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    The thing that confuses me is this. Everything I read says the USA team is built around speed. He does have a tendency to give up the puck. But he also has a tendency to join a rush and create a rush. Because he is much faster than most defenseman. I could see him not fitting into a roster. But the roster is built around the exact play he does. In my opinion at least. Any others?

    • shaundre93 - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      I completely agree. The only reason I can fathom having Faulk over Yandle is they wanted a right shot, I think Faulk may be the only righty on D

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