You have to feel for Steven Stamkos. Just barely missed the 2010 Canadian Olympic hockey team roster. Makes the 2014 Olympic roster, breaks his leg. Fought to rehab it, fell just short. That has to be tough for such a competitive guy who obviously wanted to wear his country's colors.
With the news yesterday that Stamkos was now officially ruled out for the Olympics, Team Canada had a decision to make -- who should replace him on the roster? No one can replace the production you would expect Stamkos to provide in the same way. You're faced with having to rethink your top power play unit, and seeing what holes open up with the ripple effect moving someone up from their current place.
There were plenty of names that came up before Martin St. Louis was named as Stamkos' replacement earlier today: Claude Giroux, James Neal, Eric Staal, even Taylor Hall's name was tossed into the discussion. One noticeable name I didn't see nearly enough was Tyler Seguin.
Seguin, who sits 11th overall in the NHL in points, and 6th overall among Canadians in the league. Seguin, whose chemistry with Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn, who is already a part of Team Canada, has created one of the most dynamite offensive combinations in the league this season. Seguin, who played his first three seasons with the Boston Bruins as a right wing and has shown success at shifting back to center this season in Dallas. Seguin, with his speed that seems so perfectly suited for the larger European ice.
Not even a mention in passing from most? For shame.
Considering all we've heard about how the Canadians want to put out a roster that would play with speed, it is quite surprising that Seguin didn't get more attention for fitting that style to a tee.
He has a great puck possession style game. He's proven before that he can rack up the points on the larger ice surface that plays to his speed well -- he put up 40 points in 29 games played in Europe during the lockout last year. Having another right shot on the team couldn't be a bad thing either. As he's shown on the Stars power play that is starting to click at a better rate of late, that's a deadly shot from the circles to have.
He also leads his current team in points (56) and is a little over a point-per-game player (1.02 PPGA). He also leads his team with 24 goals, with Benn right behind him at 22. He's on a seven game point streak (3G, 8A, 11P in that span.) All while adjusting to a new team, coach, system and position.
What else does the guy need to do to get some consideration?
Obviously Team Canada was looking for something different, and Martin St. Louis is a fantastic veteran addition to a younger Canada squad. But to me, the fact that all of those accomplishments of Seguin so far this season didn't even garner a lot of attention is just sad.
Seguin and Benn both said that they wanted to use their initial camp snubs as motivation for this year and that 'prove everyone wrong' mentality has meant success for both of them in the Stars lineup. Now, with Benn going and Seguin staying, the hope is that Seguin is just adding this to his list of reasons to prove all the pundits that they made a mistake.
Don't want me in Boston? I kind of dig this team in Dallas where I'm part of building something. Don't invite me to camp? Watch me put up a point-per-game pace. Don't consider me for a spot after injuries strike? Watch me tear up the West and lead my team to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.
At least, that's what Stars fans hope is the answer to that last question.