The St. Louis Blues forward Brayden Schenn got some good news yesterday. He was given an honor by his country that only a few get to say they receive each year.
St. Louis Blues forward Brayden Schenn would likely rather be playing in the NHL playoffs with his NHL team right now. Instead, due to several stumbles by the Blues along the way, Schenn will have to settle for playing in the IIHF World Championships.
Any time you can suit up for your country, it is an honor, especially in Canada. However, the World Championships always come with the sting of knowing you’re not playing for a Stanley Cup if you are playing in that particular tournament.
Such is the issue for Schenn. He had a fantastic season in his first year with the Blues after being traded from Philadelphia in the offseason. In his first year in St. Louis, Schenn set personal records for goals, assists and points with 28, 42 and 70.
That has earned him an assistant captain’s role. However, the A won’t be worn on a Blues uniform – at least not yet – but rather on the red and white of Team Canada.
Schenn was named an alternate, or assistant as some call it, on Monday. Connor McDavid was named captain and Ryan O’Reilly was named the other alternate on what promises to be a very strong Canadian squad.
Following the Blues disappointing season, there were plenty of fans questioning the Blues’ leadership. Many of those same fans wanted a gold letter sewn onto the shoulder of Schenn come next season. His on-ice performance and stand-up nature for teammates would make him a good selection for the leadership group come 2018-19. Whether the Blues actually make any changes with who wears the letters remains to be seen.
For now, Schenn will have to settle for wearing the alternate captain’s letter with Team Canada.
As mentioned earlier, Schenn would much rather be playing in the playoffs. However, this is becoming familiar territory for him. Schenn took part in the 2015 and 2017 World Championships as well, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Team Canada’s coach, Bill Peters had plenty of good things to say about his leadership group.
"“We have a mix of youth and veterans on our team, and the three players chosen to wear a letter know what it takes to be successful in international competition and that will help us be successful in our ultimate goal,” Peters said in a statement released Monday by Team Canada."
Peter’s selection was somewhat interesting. He has served as the Carolina Hurricane’s head coach the last four seasons, none of which saw the team make the playoffs. Then, two days after resigning from the Hurricane’s, Peters was named the bench boss of the Calgary Flames.
The converse of that is Peters has plenty of international experience and experience coaching Schenn. Both Peters and Schenn were part of the U-18 team that won the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in 2008. The two also paired together for that 2015 World Championship.
Hopefully, Schenn can continue his top notch play for Team Canada. They will open their tournament against Team USA on May 4.