Here are some of my reasons he needs to be decked out in USA gear come February:
- At the ripe age of 24, he's played for the US 9 times... 9 times. Every year eligible except his contract year which is a no-no. That is more than anyone else that was on this years World Championship team. If that doesn't show that he's loyal to USA hockey, I don't know what does.
- He's underrated and doesn't need attention to play his role. Over the past couple of years, he's grown into a legit #1 quietly and the media is probably still none the wiser.
- The above reason doesn't bother him and that in itself is another reason. He could easily be as hyped up as E.J. or J.J. but he's passed that. Instead, he sits back, does an interview for the Tennessean calling his experience "neat", and continues to be awesome. (please find a better word than "neat", you've got a grown up vocabulary use it!)
- He's far better defensively than most people know to give him credit for. Every article I've read has him pinned as a great offensive defenseman. Well, the word to describe his defensive game needs to be greater than "great" since he's better in the defensive zone. Some of my favorite plays in my short hockey history belong to him making some insane play on a 2 on 1 to save the day.
- He's clutch. Maybe not in the same since of the word you'd use to describe Chris Drury but regardless of if we're up by one, down by one, or tied in the final minutes of a game, you can bet he's on the ice.
- To quote David Poile, "he was clearly our best defenseman and he only got better as the tournament went on". This was used to describe him this summer in the worlds. Maybe not verbatim because I'm not that crazy but he was. I watched all but one game and it's the truth, there's no need to be biased.
- The USA jerseys look really good on him. :-)
Edited to add a well written blog!