Are you excited for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey? You may be a little more excited now that the ace goaltender of the New Jersey Devils, Cory Schneider, will be there. Today, all eight teams that will be participating in the tournament announced their 16-man preliminary rosters. Team USA went on last as they made their presentation on Sportscenter. Schneider was selected as one of the team's three goaltenders. Also, he is the only Devil announced among all announced preliminary rosters. This would be his first international appearance since being a part of the USA's World Championship roster in 2007, though he did not play at all as John Grahame led the way. Congratulations to Cory Schneider. He certainly belongs on the roster and I'm happy for him.
Does he deserve this? Absolutely. Devils have known for the last two years that Schneider can be incredible even with a lackluster team around him. While the 16-man preliminary roster has a few question marks - Justin Abdelkader? Seriously? - Schneider definitely belongs on this team. From a quick statistical take, Schneider has the best even strength save percentage among American goalies this season except for 26 games of Connor Hellebucyk and eight appearances of Garrett Sparks. Among starters, he's the best right now. He's ahead of the other the other two goalies named to the roster: Ben Bishop and Jonathan Quick. The American team should be more than fine in net and Schneider should get some games unlike his last international appearance. Should his appearances go well, that should endear him to USA Hockey for future events. (2018 Olympics? Please?)
So far only Schneider has been announced among Devils in the tournament. Could there be other Devils named? Maybe. Every team announced 16 men to their roster. They'll have to add seven more in the future. Sweden could add Adam Larsson, though they may look elsewhere for an already young defense. America needs defenders, but I doubt Andy Greene will be on their radars. As far as other squads, I can't really name any Devils that would be at least decent fits for their team. Maybe you know of any?
Lastly, you may be wondering, what is the World Cup of Hockey? It's a tournament of eight teams that will play from September 17, 2016 through October 1, 2016 in Toronto on NHL-sized rinks. There will be six actual international teams (USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic), one team that's an amalagation of smaller European nations, and a U-23 North American squad. This is a NHL-led tournament, though it is in cooperation with the IIHF. As the NHL was getting nothing directly from the Olympics, this is their way of getting in on the international game. All that and they'll play for an ugly vase of a trophy. It's more hockey (arguably more meaningful than preseason), it's more international hockey, and Schneider will be involved. It may not seem so interesting now, but I suspect that may change as the event comes around.
What's your reaction to tonight's news that Cory Schneider has been named to the USA preliminary roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey? I know I'm pleased. Does this make you more interested in the tourney? Are you even interested in the tourney? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about Schneider making the USA roster in the comments. Thank you for reading.