Modano still has more to offer Team USA 

December, 29, 2009

Hey there, I'm back! Like the Los Angeles Kings, I took a couple of extra days off around the Christmas holiday. Before my little break, I left you with my rosters for both the U.S. and Canadian Olympic teams. Not surprisingly, you've had some questions and criticisms about my choices.

My decision to add Mike Modano to the American team seemed the most baffling to many of you. Those comments have made me more curious to see whether he'll get a spot on the team.

For now, here are a few of your thoughts about my picks.

Hey E.J.: Mike Modano! Are you kidding me? This guy is so over the hill he needs to cotton to plug his nose. This has to be a buddy pick from your days in Dallas. Using your logic in respect to picking Modano for Team USA; why wouldn't you select Ryan Smyth for Team Canada? -- BJ, Newport Beach, Calif.

Hello BJ, I realize Modano isn't the same player he was earlier in his career. I took him because of his experience, versatility and size. And, from what I can see, Modano remains a strong skater. While Brian Burke and his management group might opt to pass on Modano, I think there's an equal chance he'll earn a spot. And I can't count out Smyth's getting a spot on the Canadian roster. He was playing some terrific hockey for the Kings before suffering an injury in November. Now, Smyth is healthy and he could be considered as a role player for the Canadian effort. At this point, though, I'd say he might be more of an Olympic long shot.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.