Swedish rookie Eddie Lack, Canadian Canucks commit to World Championship
Out of the NHL Playoffs from Day 1 for the first time in six years, the Vancouver Canucks will be strongly represented in Belarus, with four players committed to their countries for the 2014 IIHF World Championships.
One of them is rookie goalie Eddie Lack, who took over Vancouver's starting job from the departed Roberto Luongo, and played in 41 games this season with a whale on his chest.
"It's for sure a great honour and it's something I've been dreaming about since I was a kid," Lack told Canucks TV (video below). "To put that blue and yellow jersey on, it's gonna be a special moment for me for sure.
"It's definitely always special when you represent your country, and I'm really looking forward to it."
Lack is one of 13 Swedish-born goaltenders who played in the NHL this past season. He was left off his country's Olympic roster for February's Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Also heading to Belarus, and representing Canada, will be Canucks defencemen Kevin Bieksa and Jason Garrison, and forward Alex Burrows.
Former Canuck Cody Hodgson is also on Canada's roster, as is local boy Kyle Turris, of New Wesminster and now the Ottawa Senators. North Vancouver's Morgan Rielly will also play on the blueline for Canada. Vancouver's Troy Brouwer joins the forward corps, as well.
The only goalie named to Canada's roster thus far is Toronto Maple Leafs netminder James Reimer.
The tournament starts May 9, with Canada playing its first game against France. Canada then takes on Belarus later that day, in a double-header to open the tournament.
Last year, Sweden beat Canada en route to a gold medal, which it won over Switzerland, 5-1 in the final.
Canada finished out of the medals in fifth place.
Canucks captain Henrik Sedin was named to the tournament's all-star team and had nine points in four games, joining late because Vancouver was in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Sedin will (reportedly) not represent Sweden during the 2014 World Championship. Neither will Alex Edler, who struggled this season in Vancouver.