I remember having a lot of fun (and waking up early) watching World Championship games last May. Hosted in Slovakia, the Finnish team took home gold, Sweden got silver and Czech Republic (backstopped by dear darling Ondrej Pavelec…snif snif) netted bronze. Also Krista and Blake Wheeler got to talking on Twitter about the tourney. These are good memories for me.
Well, it’s about time for the party to start all over again, and both of us have guys from our favorite teams going over to Finland and Sweden to don their country colors and go for a different kind of precious hardware.
The Blackhawks are sending Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith for Canada–the only team that is 100% NHLers, fun fact. They’re also sending Michael Frolik for Czech Republic, plus Viktor Stalberg and Niklas Hjalmarsson for Sweden. Jonathan Toews decided to not attend, which may be the best for him considering his concussion recovery, and Patrick Kane will use this time to bulk himself up–much to Krista’s enjoyment.
The Bruins are sending Zdeno Chara for Slovakia and David Krejci for Czech Republic. I thought maybe Tuukka Rask would go for Finland, but he’s not–that might be because of his injury, because the team already has its three netminders including Kari Lehtonen, or both. I was kind of hoping someone would go for Team Canada, but it seems to be filling up quickly, although they did add Alex Burrows recently. (On second thought, maybe it’s good to not have any Bruins with him!)
Here‘s a full list of all the guys going. There’s still some time left for teams to add guys and they’ll be able to do that throughout the tournament–teams eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs this round could have guys go if there’s a spot. (Remember when Alexander Ovechkin went for Russia last year? Total media circus!)
Sidenote: Pavelec will not be returning as Czech netminder this year. I’ve read a few differing reasons as to why–overworked in the regular season, team won’t let him go, he didn’t want to go–look, I don’t know if it’s one of those things, many things or something else entirely, but we won’t see number 31 there with Krejci and Frolik.
Also, NBC Sports Network is going to show a lot of Team USA games. Some of them are at pretty atrocious times of the day Eastern, but that’s what DVRs are for! I feel like the two of us are going to keep a special eye on four teams that aren’t America, though.