Team USA’s seventh-place finish at the 2012 World Hockey Championships left one former Chicago Blackhawk upset that a current Blackhawk decided to pass up the opportunity to help his country.
The former? Eddie Olczyk.
The current? Patrick Kane.
“These World Championships were really important for the seedings going into the Olympics,” Olczyk said this afternoon on WSCR’s McNeil and Spiegel Show.
“I was very disappointed that he didn’t go and represent our country and try to help us get a better seed come Olympic time, but maybe there (are) some things that I don’t know behind the scenes.”
Maybe, maybe not.
Kane decided to pass on the international tournament after the Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think I’m just going to take the summer to rest and get excited about next season,” he said. “I’m healthy right now, I don’t want to risk that.”
A plausible concern given Kane had wrist surgery last summer, a procedure he maintains didn’t allow him to get fully prepared for the season.
Plus, there was a Cinco de Mayo party in Wisconsin he really wanted to attend.
By way of its seventh-place finish at the worlds, Team USA was placed in a tough group with Russia, Slovakia and an undetermined qualifier for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Making it past the group stage is still extremely likely for Team USA, but a low seed could mean a tougher opponent in the quarterfinals.
Then again, you never know how things will shake out. In 2010, Russia won its group and got stuck with Canada in the quarterfinals after the eventual gold medal-winner struggled in the group stage.