Which Blues representatives are most likely to achieve success in the World Cup of Hockey?
The puck drops on the 2016 World Cup of Hockey just over a week from today, as Team USA will take on Team Europe to get the action started on the afternoon of Saturday, September 17. It’s arguably the highest-quality hockey action around, as the teams are selected and the players conditioned in a way that makes it a better product than the Olympics. Six current St. Louis Blues players are set to participate, along with a seventh (Vladimir Sobotka) who is expected to join the team in time for the 2016-17 season.
The World Cup’s preliminary round, which goes from September 17-22, will take place just as Blues training camp gets underway, which creates an inconvenience for the Blues. Especially for a team that lost its captain this offseason, the fact that the Blues will almost certainly have to wait until after the last game of the best-of-three final on October 1 for their new captain–Alex Pietrangelo of Team Canada–to arrive is troublesome. The Blues will be looking to make changes all over the place in terms of their forward lines this season, so having four of the team’s forwards plus its GM (Doug Armstrong is heading up Team Canada) is somewhat of a bump in the road.
With that said, the World Cup isn’t something that should be complained about just for the fact that it will put the Blues a little bit behind in their preseason preparation. It is affecting teams across the NHL, after all, so it should be savored rather than despised.
On the following pages, we take a look at every Blues player participating in the tournament and guess their likelihood of succeeding:
Next: Dmitrij Jaskin, Vladimir Sobotka