Kings’ Jake Muzzin added to Team Canada for World Cup
Final additions to rosters for the World Cup of Hockey, announced Friday by the eight participating teams, gave the Kings and the Ducks six representatives each in the tournament, which will be played Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 in Toronto.
Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin was a surprise addition to Team Canada, beating out 2013 Norris trophy winner P.K. Subban of Montreal and Stanley Cup finalist Kris Letang of Pittsburgh. Muzzin’s familiarity with teammate and defense partner Drew Doughty, who previously was named to the 23-man roster, was a key factor in Canada’s decision to include him while greatly changing a cast that won Olympic gold at Sochi in 2014.
Ducks right wing Corey Perry, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and captain of Canada’s triumphant world championship team, was not chosen. But Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg was added to the roster for Team Sweden. The Ducks’ other representatives are Ryan Getzlaf (Canada), Ryan Kesler (U.S.), John Gibson (North America), Frederik Andersen (Europe) and Sami Vatanen (Finland).
Slovak-born Kings winger Marian Gaborik was added to the roster of Team Europe, which will feature players from countries that won’t field teams in the tournament. The Kings also will send Jonathan Quick (U.S.), Jeff Carter (Canada) and Anze Kopitar (Europe).
Former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was added to Russia’s roster but his participation is in doubt. He was suspended by the NHL in October 2014 following his arrest in connection with an incident involving his wife, and he later entered a no-contest plea to a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury to a spouse. After serving time in jail he left the United States for his native Russia rather than face deportation proceedings by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He played in Russia’s KHL last season, but his NHL suspension remains in place. It’s also possible his legal record might deter Canadian immigration officials from admitting him.
“We will obviously have to review his status with the Players’ Assn. prior to the start of the tournament,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “It is not my current expectation that this player will be deemed eligible to play in the World Cup of Hockey.”
Team North America, known as the Young Stars because players must be 23 or younger, made a splash by adding 18-year-old forward Auston Matthews, the projected first overall pick in the June draft. Forward Jonathan Drouin, who was suspended part of the season after he left the Tampa Bay Lightning’s minor league team without permission, also was among the additions, as were impressive rookie defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere of Philadelphia and Colton Parayko of St. Louis.
Notable omissions from the U.S. team include Pittsburgh right wing Phil Kessel, who’s among playoff scoring leaders with nine goals and 18 points, and Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, who played for the U.S. at Sochi.
Forward Joe Thornton and defenseman Brent Burns of the West champion San Jose Sharks were added to Team Canada, as were pesky forward Brad Marchand of Boston, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo of St. Louis, and forwards Matt Duchene of Colorado and Claude Giroux of Philadelphia.
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