Tom Gilbert Invited to USA Olympic Camp

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.