CALGARY, Alta. – Canada is off to a strong start in shaping its roster for the 2016 IIHF World Championship, with the first 18 players confirmed to wear the red-and-white when the puck officially drops in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 6.
Defending world champions Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL), Taylor Hall (Kingston, Ont./Edmonton, NHL), and Ryan O’Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo, NHL) are among the first group of confirmed players who will be making the trek to Prague, Czech Republic, for a pre-competition camp and pre-tournament game before heading to Russia for Canada’s opening match-up against the United States.
“The opportunity to represent your country in international competition is something that never gets old, as we’ve seen in the enthusiasm of this first group of players to join the squad, and the others we’re still in discussion with as we move through the process of building our roster,” said co-general manager, Brad Treliving.
Canada can name up to 25 players to its roster, and will continue to make additions as players and teams progress through the 2016 NHL playoffs.
“The world championship is always a great event, and coming in as defending champions adds to the cachet of the event. We all want to see the Canadian flag be the one raised at the end of that gold-medal game on May 22nd,” said co-general manager, George McPhee.
In addition to forwards Duchene, Hall, and O’Reilly, Canada’s roster includes:
- Goaltenders Calvin Pickard (Winnipeg/Colorado, NHL), and Cam Talbot (Caledonia, Ont./Edmonton, NHL);
- Defencemen Cody Ceci (Orleans, Ont./Ottawa, NHL), Ben Hutton (Brockville, Ont./Vancouver, NHL), Ryan Murray (White City, Sask./Columbus, NHL), Morgan Rielly (West Vancouver, B.C./Toronto, NHL), and Chris Tanev (Toronto/Vancouver, NHL); and
- Forwards Max Domi (Toronto/Arizona, NHL), Brendan Gallagher (Tsawwassen, B.C./Montreal, NHL), Boone Jenner (Dorchester, Ont./Columbus, NHL), Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Edmonton, NHL), Brad Marchand (Hammonds Plains, N.S./Boston, NHL) Sam Reinhart (West Vancouver, B.C./Buffalo, NHL), Mark Scheifele (Kitchener, Ont./Winnipeg, NHL), and Mark Stone (Winnipeg/Ottawa, NHL).
Hockey Canada adds to team staff
Team’s Canada’s management group, announced in early March, includes: McPhee (Guelph, Ont./New York Islanders, NHL), who returns to the management group for the second consecutive year, this time as co-general manager – duties he shares with Treliving (Penticton, B.C./Calgary, NHL); Doug Armstrong (Sarnia, Ont./St. Louis, NHL) in the position of senior advisor; and Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams.
Last week, they selected Bill Peters (Three Hills, Alta./Carolina, NHL) to lead the team as head coach, with assistance from Dave Cameron (Kinkora, P.E.I./Ottawa, NHL), Mike Yeo (North Bay, Ont.), and Misha Donskov (London, Ont.). Andrew Brewer (Fredericton, N.B./Toronto, NHL) will support the team as video coach.
Hockey Canada has also named its support staff for the world championship, including:
- Team Doctor Dr. Jim Thorne (Calgary, Alta./Calgary, NHL);
- Physiotherapist Kent Kobelka (Revelstoke, B.C./Calgary, NHL);
- Athletic therapist Gerry Townend (Carleton Place, Ont./Ottawa, NHL); and
- Massage therapist Andy Hüppi (Jona, SUI/Hockey Canada);
- Equipment managers John Forget (Oshawa, Ont./Ottawa, NHL) and Robin McDonald (Didsbury, Alta./Hockey Canada); and
- Media relations Sean Kelso (Vancouver, B.C./Calgary, NHL).
Canada opens the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, against the United States on Friday, May 6, with preliminary-round games scheduled through Tuesday, May 17. The bronze- and gold-medal games will be hosted in Moscow on Sunday, May 22.
TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners, will carry all Team Canada games, including the four quarter-finals, two semifinals, and both medal games.
Team Canada went undefeated at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic, on its way to its first gold medal in eight years. Since 1931, Canada has won the world championship 19 times – not counting the years when Olympic Winter Games gold-medallists were also considered world champions. The country has also collected 11 silver medals and six bronze in that timespan.