The NHL playoffs may already be underway, but your hockey viewing won’t be limited to the 16 teams currently in action. Starting next month, fans will be able to get a double dose of the sport thanks to the IIHF World Championships. The tournament pits some of the best players against each other and provides a great alternative if you’re hometown NHL team has been eliminated from the postseason (sorry, Calgary Flames). Games commence May 5 with co-hosts Paris and Cologne splitting venue responsibilities.
You can expect the usual suspects to hit the ice next month including Russia, the United States, Sweden, and of course Canada. The latter has announced a preliminary roster this week which is bolstered with NHL stars. Unlike smaller nations that are filled with competent but rather lackluster Euro leaguers, Canada gets to fill out its squad with elite-level talent. To get a closer look at the bunch, follow us after the jump.
Goaltenders: Eric Comrie (Winnipeg Jets) and Calvin Pickard (Colorado Avalanche)
Defencemen: Tyson Barrie (Colorado Avalanche), Calvin de Haan (New York Islanders), Jason Demers (Florida Panthers), Michael Matheson (Florida Panthers), and Josh Morrissey (Winnipeg Jets)
Forwards: Sean Couturier (Philadelphia Flyers), Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche), Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers), Alex Killorn (Tampa Bay Lightning), Travis Konecny (Philadelphia Flyers), Ryan O’Reilly (Buffalo Sabres), Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche), Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lightning), Mark Scheifele (Winnipeg Jets), Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers), and Jeff Skinner (Carolina Hurricanes).
While it certainly looks competitive, this year’s edition of Team Canada is admittedly weaker than normal. This team is subjective to change however, and expect some recently eliminated NHLers to join the bunch as the tournament progresses. Without these potential loans, the nation will still put up a pretty decent fight.
Highlights from the 18-man roster include Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, Winnipeg centre Mark Scheifele, and Hurricanes shooter Jeff Skinner. The lowly Colorado Avalanche may have had an abysmal season, but despite what the standings tell you, they still have some incredible hockey players. Thankfully for us, the Avs have boosted Canada with Calvin Pickard, Tyson Barrie, Nathan MacKinnon, and Matt Duchene.
You can tune into the IIHF World Championship next month, and watch Team Canada compete for the gold medal. To find out where games are being shown, contact your local cable provider.