--In men, no Lysacek OR Plushenko. Plush promised at Euros he'd do the full Grand Prix season this year; makes me wonder if recovery from his surgery is not going well. Still hope to see him at Rostelecom. :-( As to Lysacek, WHAT is going on with him? So far his "comeback" seems for publicity purposes only.
--So glad Johnny Weir got two assignments. I'm eager to see how 2 years off, maturity, and marriage will affect him as a skater and competitor.
--Very glad that Ross Miner got two assignments. This could be his year to break out and challenge for the national title. I'm not expecting much out of Abbott or Rippon after the disappointments at Worlds and WTT.
--Glad that Oda still got some assignments. Hope he can come back from his semi-disastrous season last year. Ditto for Kozuka.
--In ladies, I'm pleased with the U.S. assignments. They seem fair. Would have preferred not to see Flatt at Skate America. Why not give that opportunity to a more up-and-coming skater, like Ashley Cain (if she's senior-eligible) or Nina Jiang?
--So, Lipnitskaya is competing the senior Grand Prix! Should be very interesting!
--Miki Ando's on the list. Will she actually compete?
--Korpi and Kostner apparently planning to continue--I thought one or both might consider retirement, although for different reasons.
--Good draw for Wagner. Being the U.S. star at Skate America will boost her confidence, and then she'll have a nice break before Paris 4 weeks later.
--In pairs, can't wait to see the new team of Yankowskas/Coughlin. I hope they have strong showings this summer and get the TBA slot for Skate America. Also excited to see Donlan/Speroff at Skate America. Glad that Marley/Brubaker got 2 slots.
--I'm disappointed the new Chinese team of Peng/Zhang got 2 slots, while Yu/Jin got 0. Yu/Jin did pretty well last year, and they need more senior-level exposure to develop and improve. Looks like Pang/Tong are planning a full season; smart move if they plan to stay in for Sochi.
--Interesting that Gerboldt/Enbert got a slot despite lack of results the last few years.
--In dance, not too many surprises. This will be Maia & Alex's second year doing the 2 Asian Grand Prixs. A part of me wonders if this is a good idea. Last year they lost ground to the top European teams; I wonder if they wouldn't benefit from getting more exposure in Europe generally and with European judges, officials, etc. Yes, I know judges and officials travel all over, just like the skaters, but still . . . . I could be all wrong about this, though.
--Interested to see Sinitsina/Zhiganshin. I'm not a fan of the current Russian teams, so am interested in seeing new contenders.
--No slot for Samuleson/Gilles. Will this partnership last?