On a sad day of the Calgary Flames cleaning out their lockers, we learned who may still be playing hockey in May at the World Championship.
With the season ending and the Calgary Flames not making the playoffs, there’s one thing that fans can still look forward to: World Championships. They happen annually every May and generally, players in the NHL who either don’t make the playoffs or get eliminated early on will play for their respective countries (if they’re good enough).
With the Flames cleaning out their closets and talking to the media for one of the last few times, we learned who has been invited to play at the competition and who is confirmed to be going. The only player so far who has been confirmed is Mikael Backlund, who will be playing for Team Sweden.
Johnny Gaudreau has been invited by Team USA (duh), but after his father having his cardiac event a few weeks ago, Gaudreau said that he will be going home first and talking with his family. He did say that his dad will most likely encourage him to go. Matthew Tkachuk suffered a concussion in the last few weeks of the season, so he won’t be representing Team USA.
Travis Hamonic and Mark Giordano were both invited by Team Canada, however, Gio has a newborn baby in the family and Hamonic’s wife is due later this month, so they both won’t be going. As we learned earlier, TJ Brodie suffered a concussion and a neck injury which is why he was out of the lineup for the last couple of weeks, so he won’t be able to play.
We’re still not sure if Dougie Hamilton has been invited by Team Canada yet or not, but if not, that’s… odd… If Brodie and Hamonic were both invited over Dougie, that’s just weird. Mike Smith will also not be representing Team Canada.
We could have had almost a lineup of just Calgary Flames players if everyone was healthy and everything went accordingly. Oh well.
Michael Frolik was invited by Team Czech Republic, but he said he still hasn’t decided if he’ll be playing or not.
At least we have one confirmed player to cheer on!