Tom Gilbert Invited to USA Olympic Camp

Jonathan Willis
June 30 2009 11:08AM

Gilbert

Edmonton Oilers’ defenseman Tom Gilbert has been invited to the Team USA Olympic orientation camp to be held this fall near Chicago. He is one of 34 NHL’ers invited and one of 12 defensemen at the camp.

The other defensemen are as follows:

  • Tim Gleason
  • Ron Hainsey
  • Erik Johnson
  • Jack Johnson
  • Mike Komisarek
  • Paul Martin
  • Brooks Orpik
  • Brian Rafalski
  • Rob Scuderi
  • Ryan Suter
  • Ryan Whitney

I’m a little surprised by the absence of Matt Greene, who had a breakout season in Los Angeles this past year, but the decision to include two defensive types from Pittsburgh (Orpik and Scuderi) probably pushed him below the cutoff line – particularly given the number of other physical defensemen invited.

As unfortunate for Matt Greene as the abundance of physically punishing American defensemen is, it probably works in Tom Gilbert’s favour. Among Americans, only Brian Rafalski put up more points than Gilbert’s 45, although Ryan Suter tied him abd Ron Hainsey (39) also had a decent offensive season. If the Americans opt for three offensive defensemen and three stay-at-home types for their top-six, Gilbert has a very good chance of making this team.

Patrick O’Sullivan, who played for Team USA at the recent World Championships in Switzerland, was not invited, but could still conceivably make the team if he gets off to a good start in 2009-10.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 oilguyry
June 30 2009, 11:11AM
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The only suprise there is that Burke actually took an oiler on his team

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#2 Mulva
June 30 2009, 11:13AM
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How is Jason Pominville not invited?

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#3 Oilers icon
June 30 2009, 11:22AM
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Congrats to Tom Gilbert I'm fairly confident he'll make team USA

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#4 misfit
June 30 2009, 11:31AM
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That's one young group of blueliners.

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#5 misfit
June 30 2009, 11:33AM
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Come to think of it, that's a pretty young team altogether

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#6 mattmarcin
June 30 2009, 11:34AM
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What the heck O'Sully was one of the best players at the WHC. I think he should atleast be invited.

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#7 Librarian Mike
June 30 2009, 12:06PM
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@ misfit:

I have to say I respect the USA program for realizing that their golden generation is past it and starting over with young players. They may not win right away, but this will pay off for them in the long run.

Now, let's hope team Canada follows suit...

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#8 Hemmertime
June 30 2009, 01:00PM
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Team Canadas Golden Generation would still win, or be the favorites hands down.

Suprised not looking at Patty O, bad finish hurt him?

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#9 BURKEtheTURD
June 30 2009, 01:34PM
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what do you think about Heatly for Penner as sportsnet is suggesting? I thinks its too good to be true

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#10 Harlie
June 30 2009, 01:40PM
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@ BURKEtheTURD:

pray that is not an eklund rumor.

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#11 EMAC
June 30 2009, 05:05PM
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Is it just me or does the American blueline seem awfully weak and missing a stud?

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#12 Samwise
June 30 2009, 06:07PM
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definitely an underdog team going in, but the games are a long way off, and there is much hockey to be played before then. One or two injuries in the early part of the season and this team looks completely different...

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