The athletes who step up on the game’s brightest stage typically earn a hefty reward. They get to hold the coveted Lombardi Trophy, and if they were particularly impressive, claim MVP honors and the big prize — typically cars or the chance to tell a waiting videographer you’re going to Disneyworld.
Coach Tony Granato and his staff faced an unenviable task in getting Team USA on the same page in short order. This wasn’t a bunch of guys from the NHL; this was a collection of players from the KHL, Finland, Germany, the AHL, the NCAA, unemployment and other far-flung regions. Which is to say that getting them all in the same place for a few practices before the Games was near impossible.
Remember when Team USA and Canada would hold Olympic camps during the summer, before the Games? Good times. Unfortunately, the NHL’s waltz with the International Olympic Committee made that kind of long-term planning rather difficult for these games.
One of the true silver linings for Team USA in the 2018 Winter Games was the play of its college players. Ryan Donato of Harvard led the team with five goals and an assist. Troy Terry of Denver had five assists. Jordan Greenway of Boston University had a goal — but more important, he was a dominating physical presence.
The profile of a Graham suitor instead should be more like the Seahawks — a team that considers itself an established playoff contender. Graham has slowed down a little as a field-stretcher, but at 6-7, 265 pounds, he remains a red-zone monster, catching 10 TDs in 2017 as part of his 57 receptions for 520 yards.
He also continues to provide little as a blocker, so the team that signs him has to live with him being a specific kind of receiving threat. Keeping all that in mind, here are the six most intriguing teams for Graham going forward.
Nash is currently on pace to equal his fantasy-irrelevant totals from last season in more games and more minutes per game. He can still offer some upside as a power-play specialist and depth winger, but Nash will turn 34 during the offseason, and unless he is hiding something in the tank to bring out for a contender, he probably won’t have a massive post-deadline fantasy impact.