That is, of course, the other players and personnel do not buy a ticket to a game. Today, the final 23-man rosters were released for all eight teams participating in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players Association-organized event will feature only one representative of the New Jersey Devils: goaltender Cory Schneider with Team USA. Schneider was announced as being on the preliminary roster back in March. Short of a trade or something happening in free agency, no other Devil will join him.
I am a little relieved at the news. I look at the 2015-16 roster and the only other player I thought could be named was defenseman Adam Larsson. Yeah, Andy Greene should be on Team USA since Jack Johnson made it. But there are six defenders better than Jack Johnson who did get named. And the Sochi omission was the writing on the wall that Greene will never go. Sigh. And with Kyle Palmieri not making the preliminary roster, I had little hope he'd be added too. But I only really thought Larsson had a chance to make it onto Team Sweden. Larsson did complete his second straight season as being a regular on New Jersey's top defensive pairing. He was also Sweden's #1 defenseman at the recent World Championships. The latter would surely help his case for national team duty, or so I would have thought. But Larsson was not named to Sweden's roster today. He was excluded along with John Klingberg and Hampus Lindholm and I suspect it isn't so much because they aren't good enough but that Sweden just has that much talent available on the blueline. Therefore, I don't think it's a slight to Larsson, Klingberg, or Lindholm. All the same, this really means Larsson can just focus on the upcoming 2016-17 NHL season this fall. I'm quite fine with that.
So will the near entirety of the Devils roster. Schneider will be the only one who will be away from a few preseason games. With Jonathan Quick and Ben Bishop also on the roster, it is not a guarantee Schneider will play in most games. I'd be shocked if he was kept as just a third-choice goaltender, though. I would expect something like a rotation, which will give Schneider some minutes. Given the rest of the Team USA roster, I don't exactly have high hopes for them for going deep in the tournament either. Schneider, and the rest of the team, may return to their NHL teams sooner than we may think Were the Devils expected to try for the postseason in 2016-17, I'd be concerned about a potentially rustier-than-normal starting goaltender starting a season full of games that count. I don't think they will make that push, so it may not be a big deal in the bigger picture if that even becomes a factor.
Now that the rosters are set and Schneider is still the only Devil going, I want to know your reaction. Should anyone else currently on the Devils have been named to their respective nation's teams? Are you pleased that only Schneider will go to the tournament and everyone else will go through preseason and training camp like normal? Do you care (more, less, at all?) about the 2016 World Cup of Hockey? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about today's World Cup rosters in the comments. Thank you for reading.