Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad won’t play for the United States men’s hockey team at next month’s World Championship. The tournament is from May 4-20 in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.
Saad said he decided not to play so he can focus on offseason training and his upcoming wedding in July.
Saad, 25, has never played in the tournament. The Pittsburgh native hasn’t suited up for his country since he won gold with Team USA at the 2012 World Juniors tournament. Part of that is attributed to playing in the playoffs with Chicago (2012-15) and with the under-23 Team North America team in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He could’ve played at the 2016 Worlds tournament, when he was in his first season with Columbus, when the Blue Jackets missed the playoffs and finished in 15th place in the 16-team Eastern Conference.
Saad scored 18 goals and assisted on 17 others in 82 games in his return to Chicago this season.
Team USA has historically struggled at the tournament, winning it only twice in 1933 and 1960. They have won bronze twice this decade in 2013 and 2015.