Saturday, February 15, 2014
Oshie rewards Poile's faith in him
By ESPN.com staff
T.J. Oshie, the hero of Team USA's thrilling shootout win over Russia, might not have been in Sochi at all had it not been for his skill in the shootout.
Oshie was one of a handful of players, including Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks, who fought for the final forward spots on Team USA leading up to the Olympics.
ESPN.com's Scott Burnside was embedded with GM David Poile and the other American decision makers throughout the selection process, and his report from inside contains a prophetic statement from Poile:
As he has throughout, (Blackhawks GM Stan) Bowman speaks on behalf of his player, Saad.
"I think he's a more versatile player than Oshie," Bowman says.
"I think he's got more to his game than Oshie. He's like a young version of [Marian] Hossa. He's such a strong guy. He's just hard to handle. He's smart. He's a guy the coaches would love," the Chicago GM says.
Poile, meanwhile, knows Oshie and likes his personality.
"Oshie's got that shootout move," he adds.
Burnside also reported that the Team USA coaching staff wanted Oshie, in part for his versatility and chemistry with David Backes, as well as his shootout skills.
It appears they put their faith in the right player.