As Olympic hockey teams are announcing their three guaranteed players for the Beijing Winter Olympics, fans and media are having fun trying to predict the roster for the participating countries. The buzz might be even higher here in North America, home of the NHL, source of most of the best hockey players in the world.
When it comes to the Montreal Canadiens, Carey Price was a shoe-in as the starting goaltender… until he took his leave from the team to deal with personal issues. Shea Weber would have been given consideration but he’s out due to injuries for the season. Joel Armia (Finland) and Alexander Romanov (Russia) are long shots to represent their respective country and Cole Caufield would have to have an outstanding season to be considered for Team USA. But there’s one guy who should be on that team, and that’s Jeff Petry.
A case for Petry
The last time Petry represented his country was back in 2014 at the World Championships while playing for the Edmonton Oilers. In eight games, he had no goals and four assists.
The Canadiens’ defenseman has had four consecutive seasons of at least 10 goals and 40 points, including last season when he managed 12 goals and 42 points in only 55 games. That was good enough for third amongst American defensemen in the entire NHL, barely trailing Adam Fox (NYR) and John Carlson (WSH).
Unless he gets injured, Petry should be one of the American team’s top defensemen in Beijing. Smooth skater, he can help on the powerplay and can log big minutes. Petry is like a good wine: getting better with age. He’s extremely deserving of representing his country in February.