So after Crone & Poirier became the shock of the summer(and they may very well stay that; it won’t be easy to top them!), Chock & Zuerlin also broke up, and we all thought, well, at least Samuelson & Bates should be able to keep their spot on the World Team. Then the news comes they’re done for too!
Since the Hubbells ended it even before Worlds the undisputed default #3s in American ice dance are now Lynn Kriengkrairut & Logan Giuletti-Schmidt. Fortunately for our sanity, they recently had an article about them which made it sound highly unlikely they’re going to bail on us this summer. But they could always get injured, if the skate gods turn sadistic. They certainly aren’t a bad team; it’s worth noting they probably would have won the pewter at Nationals this year if they hadn’t fallen down during their free dance. The only new team we have so far is Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donahue. The latter and his partner were 11th at this year’s nationals, and his biggest claims to fame are a JGP gold and a top ten finish at Junior Worlds. Combine that with Hubbell only getting the pewter this year due to aforementioned fall by Lynn K & Logan G, and I would be pretty surprised if they made the top three, at least this coming year. There is speculation of Bates & Chock, but I don’t know if it’s strong enough right now to even be called rumor(and if Bates pulled a John Coughlin on a partner who faithfully waited for him last season, well, I think the audience won’t like them much at least)
Up in Canada there seems to be a little more stability, with only Crone & Poirier breaking up, except that Virtue & Moir still aren’t absolutely saying they’re going to compete this year. And so the state of things sit going to the Grand Prix invites this weekend. I assume, by the way, V&M will get assignments; if they don’t continue, they’ll withdraw later. The interesting question, when it comes to ice dance, is if there will be a TBA spot at Skate America; unless Lynn K & Logan G need it to get either one or two events(in which case it should absolutely go to them; they’ve earned that much), I don’t think we can know who should be the third team there yet.