The American men's hockey squad opened Olympic play Tuesday with a 3-1 win over a Swiss team that included Islander defenseman Mark Streit and Ducks netminder Jonas Hiller as the only two NHL regulars.
Meanwhile, the Yanks reported to Vancouver with a 23-man roster that is fully stocked with NHLers, with Ranger forward Chris Drury topping the payroll chart with a cap figure of $7.05 million.
Team USA is a distinct underdog in this tournament--with the likes of Canada and Russia widely considered co-favorites--but the Americans cannot be considered disadvantaged at the pay window.
Including netminder Jonathan Quick, the only USA player not in uniform for the opener, the Americans represent an NHL cap figure of $83.629 million.
If Olympus played by NHL payroll rules, the Yanks would have to shed $26.829 million to get under the league maximum $56.8 million.
The Olympic rink this time isn't bigger than the NHL sheet, but the payroll sure comes with a lot of extra elbow room.
The top three cap figures among the Americans: Drury, Paul Stastny ($6.6 million) and Ryan Miller ($6.25 million).