St. Louis Blues Likely To Get Rest As NHL Heads To 2022 Olympics

St. Louis BluesMandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis BluesMandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

For those of you unaware of the news, the NHL and International Olympic Committee did reach and agreement and the world’s best hockey players will be available for selection for the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. However, before St. Louis Blues fans get too excited, don’t expect many from the Note to be participating.

Of course, nobody knows the rosters yet, because the teams have not been selected. We will get our first wave of announcements around mid-October when the initial rosters will be set.

I would expect a couple names from the St. Louis roster on that initial list, assuming it’s similar to NHL rosters prior to training camp when you include all your prospects that will get an extended look. The official rosters will be announced in January of 2022, ahead of the February tournament.

That’s when I don’t expect many Blues, if any, to be listed on these international rosters.

Admittedly, this is just a guess. With almost half a season to play prior to these rosters officially being formulated, guys could have really fantastic starts to the year and earn a selection that way.

In a vacuum, there just are not a ton of Blues that might be on the radar.


The Blues have a predominantly Canadian roster, but few of them are viewed as stars in Canada. The media market size of St. Louis plays into that a little, but some is reality.

While we all love the guys that put on the Blues sweater and know they’re excellent players, the Blues don’t have the highest end of the talent pool. They win based on effort more than skill.

Of the skaters, Ryan O’Reilly is the main name that sticks out for a Canadian selection. Even then, he’s 50/50 at best. SportsNet recent stab at who might be selected for team Canada left O’Ry off. Other sites’ predictions have included the captain, so we will see.

Brayden Schenn is a talented player. Still, it would take quite a few selections being turned down for the Canadians to get to Schenn’s name.

Personally, I don’t think Jordan Binnington would get the call either in a normal situation. Carey Price still has the star value and the experience of leading a team to a Stanley Cup Final.

Marc-Andre Fleury cannot be ruled out either since he’s still in the league and the same could be said of Brayden Holtby. Carter Hart and Mackenzie Blackwood are up and comers, but probably don’t have the experience yet.

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Binnington has two things going for him. The current crop of Canadian goaltenders might be at its thinnest in quite some time and Doug Armstrong is the GM of Team Canada.

As far as Armstrong goes, it would be an interesting decision. Is resting your goaltender better or is it better to give him that confidence boost by playing on the national team?

Last, but not least, Colton Parayko probably won’t be on the team. It’s not that he doesn’t have the talent, but there is just too many players ahead of him in the pecking order. Again, the Armstrong factor could come into play. There were plenty of arguments against Jay Bouwmeester the last time around, but Armstrong knew how well Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo played together and put his two cents in even though he was not the main GM at the time. The same could happen this time around, but the Blues would probably be better off with a fresh Parayko for the second half.


Like the Canadians, the Blues have some Americans that will certainly be in the mix. Who decides to attend and who the American GM wants will dictate a lot.

Justin Faulk and Torey Krug both have to be in the mix for the blue line for the USA. However, much of their shine has been taken away due to dropoffs in production once they came to St. Louis.

Krug might get the nod because he’s still a very good puck mover, has good foot speed and is left handed. Faulk’s choice may come down to a battle between him and Charlie McAvoy. Both are similar size and play a similar game.

It seems likely the Blues get at least one American on the team. However, I could easily see both being invloved or both left off.


The only prominent Swedish player for the Blues right now is Oskar Sundqvist. While he has proven his worth to the team, he’s not going to be selected for international duty unless lots of players drop out.

If nothing else, he’s not going to have enough time to showcase himself. While nothing has been officially said, it seems unlikely that Sundqvist will start the regular season.

With initial teams being released just 45 days or so into the season, even just a week or two missed likely takes you out of the running.


Ville Husso and Niko Mikkola are the only Finns on the team. Finland is too deep in goal for Husso to get international duty outside of the World Championships.

Mikkola could easily play for Team Finland one day, if he keeps progressing. It will not be this year.


Russia is where it really gets interesting. Who has a good start to the season and who is still on the Blues?

Pavel Buchnevich has the talent and is well respected by the national media due to his time in New York. If he gets off to a good start with the Blues, he would be an easy selection. If he does not get off to a good start, it comes down to how deep the Russian talent pool is.

The reason their depth may come into question is due to an early prediction. One particular writer actually included Ivan Barbashev on Team Russia.

All Blues fans love Barby, but he does not strike me as one of the top players Russia would have to offer.

Last, but not least, we re-enter the question of Vladimir Tarasenko. Will he still be on the Blues when these rosters are released?

Most writers think not, but the trade talk has died down and the New York Islanders just signed all their free agents. Where is there left for him to go?

Additionally, would he even be selected? If he has a good start to the season, regardless of where, the answer should be yes. He’s still a talented scorer.

If he has a less than stellar start, perhaps not. International GM’s don’t care as much about injury history since they’re not paying the price in the long run, but they might still be wary of losing a player to injury midway through a tournament. You don’t want to depend on Tarasenko for scoring and then lose him, depleting your depth. However, the upside might outweigh the down.


The Blues have some guys that will be in the mix, that’s for sure. For some reason, I just don’t see many being selected.

As much as we all fawn over O’Reilly, I think he may get snubbed. Binnington might be the only Canadian selection from the Blues and even that is up in the air, depending on what Armstrong and the coaching staff decide.

The Blues likely have one American taken, but even that is not a given. Going into this article, I had not even considered it, but Buchnevich might be the closest thing to a lock the Blues have for international players in 2022.

Trumping all of that is whether these guys actually agree to go. Clearly, there is a desire for the NHL players to go, otherwise they would not have fought so hard for it.

However, given the restrictions due to covid coupled with the likely restrictions simply due to the event being in China, some guys may opt out. That may open up more slots for guys from the Blues, if they would want to go.

Viewing things as we know now, I’d say three guys get picked from the Blues. That leaves 20 players to rest up and that would not be a bad thing.

Robert Thomas is a 2022 question mark. dark. Next

Injuries devastated the 2021 Blues, so having a week or two to rest the body before the push in the second half should be a great thing. The only reason it wouldn’t be is if the Blues were on an incredible hot streak going into February.

Even then, I’d take the rest because the entire league is getting a break so all momentum would cease anyway.