St. Louis Blues fans continue to wait for the NHL to come back. It will likely be even longer to see international play, but that doesn’t stop some from planning.
The St. Louis Blues, like all teams that have made the proposed 2020 playoff tournament, are preparing for a return to hockey at some point. While plans are made and phases are being implemented, the truth is there is not a definitive agreement struck between owners and players regarding all the logistics, etc.
Nevertheless, they continue to plan and hope. With that in mind, our friends over at Editor In Leaf made plans regarding a potential Team Canada roster for 2020.
Now, the reality is if you’re holding your breath on the return of the NHL, you would need to be a deep-sea whale to keep enough breath to make it to some form of international hockey. There is no World Cup in sight and the NHL has made no plans to allow players into the Olympics again either.
Regardless, a little speculation is always fun. However, right off the bat, several Blues are left out of what is always an incredibly deep Team Canada.
Before you suggest any Maple Leaf bias, here is the list of players that missed the cut but got honorable, or “honourable”, mention:
"Unfortunately, for the players listed below, there are just too many gifted Canadian players and have regrettably been informed they have not made the final roster. Matt Barzal Travis Konecny David Perron Jonathan Toews Mike Hoffman Jaden Schwartz Brayden Schenn Tyler Seguin Brayden Point Claude Giroux Brent Burns Kris Letang Shea Theodore Aaron Ekblad Thomas Chabot Mark Giordano Braden Holtby Corey Crawford Matt Murray Marc-Andre Fleury"
As you can see, several high-profile stars get left out in the cold. Standout names like Toews or Burns might surprise many.
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The exclusion of Perron is understandable. He is loved in St. Louis, but just has not done enough consistently throughout his career to warrant a selection on the highest international team the Canadians have to offer.
Schenn and Schwartz are a little surprising, but again hard to argue. Plenty of fans love Schwartz in the Gateway City, but he’s just never hit that next level even though we know he can.
Schenn could easily be the first call-in if there was an injury. He has scored 70 points not that long ago and is a consistent performer and worker. Team Canada just has tons of big names up the middle and Schenn doesn’t score enough to be a winger.
Parayko is the biggest snub in my eyes. Maresky uses Norris Trophy candidacy as some of his argument and while that makes sense, the Norris has moved toward an award for the defenseman with the most points as opposed to a true defender, which is more of what Parayko is.
The inclusion of Cale Makar over Parayko is a little of a downer, but everyone is extremely high on Makar. So, it’s hard to say he would not be on there.
As Maresky points out later, you could make quite a team just with the honorable mentions alone. Such is the wealth that Team Canada is blessed with in this sport.
Still, it was a tiny bit surprising that so many Blues actually made this proposed roster given the lack of attention the team gets nationally, even as Stanley Cup Champions.