Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge will be the hot spot for hockey today on a couple fronts.
Not only does USA Hockey's three-day Olympic orientation camp start, but Blackhawks star Patrick Kane will make his first public statement since being arrested last week in Buffalo and charged with robbing and beating a taxi driver.
Kane is one of the 34 players invited to the camp and will address his legal situation today only, according to a spokesman for USA Hockey.
The camp is the first step toward forming the 23-man roster that will represent the U.S. at Vancouver Olympics in February.
Also invited to the camp is Hawks winger Dustin Byfuglien.
USA general manager Brian Burke and coach Ron Wilson have overhauled the American program following a disappointing eighth-place finish in the 2006 Games.
Gone are many of the veterans who have been mainstays of USA hockey for years such as Chris Chelios, Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin, replaced by rising American stars such as Kane, Zach Parise, Mike Komisarek, T.J. Oshie, Phil Kessel, Bobby Ryan and Joe Pavelski.
The U.S. hasn't cut ties with all its veterans, however. Mike Modano, Brian Rafalski, Scott Gomez, Chris Drury and Jamie Langenbrunner were among the vets receiving invitations.
The on-ice sessions are open to the public and free of charge with the doors opening at 9 a.m. But there is limited seating at Seven Bridges and the doors will be closed when the building is full.
Kane will return to Buffalo after the camp to await Thursday's expected ruling by a grand jury to either proceed with the legal action, drop the charges or reduce them from felonies.
Here is the complete U.S. roster for this week's camp:
Goalies: Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas and Jonathan Quick.
Defensemen: Tom Gilbert, Tim Gleason, Ron Hainsey, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Mike Komisarek, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Brian Rafalski, Rob Scuderi, Ryan Suter and 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 and Paul Stastny.
• Single-game tickets for the Blackhawks' 2009-10 season go on sale today at 10 a.m.
Tickets are available by calling TicketMaster (800-745-3000), at all TicketMaster retail locations, the United Center box office, the Blackhawks store on Michigan Avenue and at chicagoblackhawks.com. Fans can purchase up to six tickets per game.