St. Louis Blues: Olympic Teams Miss Opportunity To Play Junior Stars

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 5: Jordan Kyrou
BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 5: Jordan Kyrou /

The St. Louis Blues seem to be getting used to having snubs when it comes to getting selected for things. First the All-Star Game, now the Olympics.

The St. Louis Blues got a player snubbed when it came to the selection for the All-Star Game. Vladimir Tarasenko seemed a lock, based on it being an exhibition.

There were arguments that this player deserved to get in more or that player had done more. The bottom line was that plenty of players got picked on name recognition alone and Tarasenko did not.

However, the snubs keep coming for players involved in the St. Louis Blues organization. About two weeks ago, the Olympic hockey teams were named, without much fanfare. No players currently in the Blues depth were selected.

The closest thing the Blues have is that former members of the organization got selected. Maxim Lapierre and Derek Roy, both of whom enjoyed a cup of coffee in St. Louis, will be part of Team Canada. Nobody got picked for Team USA.

It was always likely that unknowns would make up the Olympic rosters when the NHL decided to not take part. However, there seems to have been some short sightedness in the leaving certain players off.

Neither Team Canada nor Team USA selected any of their ranks from the junior programs. This is especially surprising given the fact that Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas have been rumored as possible selections.

An argument could be made that the teams worried about burning out such young talent. Their season is currently going on now, plus they just took part in the World Juniors.

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It is understandable to worry about the stamina of younger players. You do not want to burn them out before they even start, like happens sometimes in baseball.

The flip side is that those players mentioned seem to be better now than some of the players actually selected have ever been. That is not meant as a slight on those players. However, you’d be hard pressed to argue for Linden Vey over Thomas or Kyrou. Even taking the Blues colored glasses off, it seems an odd choice to overlook Kyrou.

Kyrou led the World Junior tournament in scoring. He also vaulted back to the lead in OHL scoring, even after missing nearly two weeks during the tournament.

What makes these decisions stranger is nothing was really standing in the way. The QMJHL was one of the first CHL divisions to give the OK for their players to be selected. Then, the rest of the CHL followed suit.

Team USA had fewer players to select from out of Canadian juniors, but could have still taken a player here or there. Jason Robertson, for example, is sixth in OHL scoring and American born.

When it comes down to it, those of us that are more than just Blues fans will still watch. We will tune in to the Olympics because we like to cheer for our countries or just see Olympic style hockey.

Nevertheless, this seems like a missed opportunity. More people now know about these kids in juniors than ever before. These guys get social media followings like crazy, based on the teams that drafted them.

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You would have had lots of fans tuning into multiple countries’ games for the sheer interest in seeing how their prospect was doing. Now, we go back to more nationalistic interests.

Maybe this won’t affect ratings. Maybe we will get a fantastic tournament. It just sours it a little to see a bunch of guys that were no longer worthy of the NHL – playing in Europe – or some AHL players get the nod over some very deserving young talents.