When assembling an Olympic hockey roster, pairs of players from the same NHL team are attractive to countries because in a two-week tournament, existing chemistry can be a major factor.
But when Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, who doubles as the director of player personnel for Team Canada, vouched for defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester to his Olympic management staff, he didn’t necessarily pitch them as a package.

“I told the guys why I think this is a good pair, but both players can make this team on their own,” Armstrong said. “I think together, you’re not going to have to worry about them. They’re playing power play with us, penalty kill, 5 on 5 against the other teams’ best players.

“I don’t think it’s a group that you’re going to have to make changes on. But I said to the coaches, ‘If you decide to break them up, they’re both capable of being Olympians on their own.’”

Team Canada, led by general manager Steve Yzerman, agreed and named both Pietrangelo and Bouwmeester to the club, which plays its first preliminary game of the tournament today against Norway.

But the Canadians apparently also agreed that it’s best to keep the two players together — at least at the start of the tourney.

In practice, Pietrangelo and Bouwmeester are skating as Team Canada’s second defensive pair, behind Chicago’s Duncan Keith and Nashville’s Shea Weber.