So far, four Senators players have accepted invitations to play for their countries at the IIHF World Championship in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. Jakob Silfverberg didn’t waste any time before getting ready to return to Sweden, while Erik Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson decided to take a few days to think things over after being invited to join the Swedish team.
The NHL’s 4th best scorer this year, Jason Spezza, however, won’t join Team Canada for the tournament. According to @Syl_St_Laurent, he’s been talking to management but been told they did not have a spot for him on the roster. While the roster is very impressive down the middle with the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan O’Reilly, John Tavares and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins down the middle, you have to imagine there’d be a spot for Spezza on the team had he not been a late arrival to the imaginary(?) party that is a trip to Europe for the World Championship.
Milan Michalek will join the Czech Republic team next week, while Filip Kuba declined, according to Czech hockey outlet hokej.cz. Kuba, who is an unrestricted free agent this summer, wants to focus on extending his NHL career for “two or three years”.
Stephane da Costa and Kaspars Daugavins will both try and help their respective underdaug nations in the tournament, suiting up for France and Latvia, respectively.
No word has yet come out of Russia (to my knowledge) about Sergei Gonchar possibly joining the Russian team in his ambition to make the hosting Russian team for the Sochi Olympics. Belief is that they would like to have a large contingent of KHL players for that tournament, there are only two NHL defensemen listed for this tournament so far, with Alexei Emelin and Nikita Nikitin joining the team.
Fan favourite and breakaway specialist Christoph Schubert for Germany and former B-Sens player Roman Wick, for Switzerland, will also be there.
Reps are hard to shake. Spezza is going to need a Selke-quality season for people to forget the overpassing, drop passes and so on. There is an ingrained perception amojng people that Spezza overcommits, is easily shut down and so on. He needs to make a run for the Cup carring the team or be a SElke finalist to shake that imo.