In mid-August most of us are thinking about how to stay out of the heat or which barbecue to attend. Kyle Okposo, however, might just be thinking about the frosty February climate of Vancouver, Canada. That's where the 2010 Winter Olympics will be taking place, in case you hadn't heard. But in order to make Vancouver and an Olympic dream a reality, he'll first have to focus on Woodridge, Illinois.
Beginning tomorrow (8/17), Kyle will be taking an excursion from Minnesota down to the Chicago suburbs (a trip we've made more times than we can count) to attend USA Hockey's Olympic orientation camp. It runs through Wednesday (8/19) and two of the days are open to the public at no cost.
If you're one of our Chicago-area readers, you can get a good look at Kyle (and the 33 other camp invitees listed below) on the ice at the Seven Bridges Ice Arena. Directions and a map are found on that page. Here's a look at the full roster of invitees:
2009 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Orientation Camp Roster
Goaltenders: Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick, Tim Thomas
Defensemen: Tom Gilbert, Tim Gleason, Ron Hainsey, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Mike Komisarek, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Brian Rafalski, Rob Scuderi, Ryan Suter, Ryan Whitney
Forwards: David Backes, David Booth, Dustin Brown, Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Jamie Langenbrunner, Ryan Malone, Mike Modano, Kyle Okposo, T.J. Oshie, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan, Paul Stastny.
It looks like youth may be served this time around, and while there's no guarantee that Kyle will make the club, having (Islanders head coach) Scott Gordon as an assistant coach of the team can't hurt.
And since we mentioned hurting, word comes from the New York Times that the NHL and its clubs will not insure players participating in orientation camps. While USA Hockey has purchased augmented policies, we urge Kyle to be careful this week, because it's easy to get hurt at summer camp.