Stamkos, Crosby, Giroux, Neal, Thornton, St. Louis, Staal, Hartnell, Iginla, Seguin, Lupul, Parenteau, Couture, Pietrangelo, Campbell, Weber, Boyle, Bieksa, Letang, Burns, Subban, Fleury, Luongo, or Price could have helped the Canadian team (some might have been injured but not all of them were)
Stamkos, Staal (Eric)-hurt, Crosby-said, he needed to finish rehab, Giroux, Hartnell, Pietrangelo, Weber were still playing, Thornton, Iginla, St.Louis, Boyle are too old, considering Sochi, Campbell - if that is a Boston one, you must be joking, Lupul, Parenteau, Couture are not obviously better than the forwards who were there. I agree that D and to a degree G could be better with the players you mentioned, but Cam Ward is no slouch either.
For the US -
Kessel, Pominville, Kane, Wheeler, Cole, Pavelski, Backes, Oshie, Legwand, Stafford, Kesler, Malone, Foligno, Higgins, Umburger, Byfuglien, Suter, Shattenkirk, Carle, Leddy, Carlson, Gardiner, Bogosian, Thomas and Miller all could have helped.
Thomas is too old for Sochi, Miller is not better than Howard this season.
E.Kane was there, I don't know if P.Kane was healthy.
Stafford, Kesler, Cole (Carolina one) were either hurt or fresh out of rehab.
Byfuglien had legal issues.
Wheeler, Foligno, Malone, Umburger, Leddy, Gardiner were not obviously better than the players already there,
Carlson(IIRC), Suter, Shattenkirk, Oshie, Legwand, Backes were still playing.
So that leaves Kessel, Pavelski, maybe P.Kane, Higgins. All good players but hardly any more valuable to their team than the players other teams were missing. More notable ones: Backstrom (G), Kiprusoff, Pitkanen, Hamrlik, T.Ruutu, Edler, Murray, Paajarvi, Enstrom, Hossa, Visnovsky, Jurcina, Meszaros, Halak, Hornquist, A.Markov, Radulov, Voynov and I'm sure i forgot many more.
I'm not sure why North American NHLers don't look at the WHC the same way their European counterparts do, but for whatever reason Canadian and American players don't seem to head overseas to represent their countries for the WHC. When every playoff round ends you seem to see European teams getting boosts to their rosters, but the North American's who get eliminated from the playoffs tend to stay home with a higher frequency.
That's true, but it's really your own internal problem. If Hockey USA or Hockey Canada can't assemble the best team possible, who's to blame?
Steve Yzerman had absolutely nothing to do with Canada's team this year, it was picked and managed by the Oilers Kevin Lowe, and it also wasn't the last chance to audition for the Olympics, next years WHC championship and the next season and a half of NHL play will be the audition's for the NA teams. This WHC was fairly meaningless as far as Sochi is concerned unless you care about your ranking.
According to this, Yzerman is an executive director, and Lowe is just one of a large
And I remember Yzerman saying that WHC participation will be an important consideration when determining the Olympic roster. After this WHC there's only one more left before the Olympics, and who knows what players will be able to go in 2013. They may be going deep into the playoffs, have injuries, or they just may not be picked next year. That's what I mean when i say this may have been the last chance at an Olympic audition for many NHLers.