Blues at the World Championships
Yearning to see some of your favorites back in action again? You won’t have to wait until October as several members of the 2010-11 St. Louis Blues roster will be skating for their respective countries at the World Championships set to take place April 29th through May 15th in Slovakia.
Ty Conklin, Chris Porter and Kevin Shattenkirk will represent the United States in the upcoming tournament, and each skater is likely taking part for a different reason. As I mentioned in this article at The Hockey Writers, both Porter and Conklin will be free agents and their play at the tournament could dictate what sort of offers they see either from the Blues or on the open market.
Meanwhile, Shattenkirk will look to continue to develop his young skills.
No surprise here, two of the Blues best players are Canadian. Alex Pietrangelo and Chris Stewart will take their talents to Slovakia and proudly compete for Canada. Pietrangelo already has a pretty colorful history playing for Team Canada while Stewart will make his international debut for his country.
From a pure talent perspective, Canada will be loaded (as usual) and it should be fun to watch how the two representatives from the Blues compete with a bit more talent surrounding them.
Update: April 29th, 11:24am: It has been announced that Carlo Colaiacovo will join Team Canada for the World Championships. Carlo’s inclusion will bring the total number of current Blues at the World Championships to eight.
Jaroslav Halak will return home and represent his country as they play host to the tournament this year. This might be the most interesting situation to watch for Blues fans as Halak will look to prove that he is capable of playing above the numbers he posted in the 2010-11 season.
Through one season in St. Louis, Halak already has plenty of doubters following a year where “inconsistent” might be the best and most truthful label to describe his performances.
Patrik Berglund will also make the trip to Slovakia to represent his native Sweden. Coming off a nice rebound season in 2010-11, Berglund finds himself awaiting a new contract and could benefit from a successful tournament run.
At just 22, Berglund already has a wealth of international experience under his belt as he played for Sweden in the 2008 World Junior Championships and the 2009 World Championships.