Friday May 27th, 2016

All eight teams that will compete in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey finalized their 23-man rosters on Friday, annoucing their final seven selections.

There were bound to be some surprises, but did anyone expect Team USA to go so far off the board? GM Dean Lombardi made some truly shocking additions, building a team that seems more intent on winning in the alley than on the ice.

Could it actually work? Absolutely. The Americans will be an aggressive team that will try to create chances off the forecheck. With guys like Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky and David Backes added to the mix, they'll be big and strong and miserable to play against. But if this team struggles to score, as it very well might, it'll be tough to justify the decision to add a bunch of gritty third-liners over players capable of skating top-six minutes like Tyler Johnson, Phil Kessel and Paul Stastny. And while Matt Niskanen is an excellent choice on the back end, it's hard to understand the choices of Erik Johnson and Jack Johnson over a skilled puck mover like Justin Faulk. Taken in total, this looks like a team built to win in 1996, not 2016.

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There's bound to be some gnashing of teeth in Canada as well, but that's inevitable. The depth of their talent pool means there are always going to be great players who don't make the cut. So no Taylor Hall. No Corey Perry. And most distressing for some, no P.K. Subban.

Subban always felt like a long shot for this team, through no fault of his own. Canada is absolutely lit on the right side, and with Drew Doughty and Shea Weber already rostered, he was beaten out by Norris finalist Brent Burns and Alex Pietrangelo. Hard to argue with those choices. Both were tremendous in the playoffs and, more important, both play a safer two-way game.

Tough break for P.K., but his time will come.

The Jake Muzzin pick will raise a few eyebrows, but he's an excellent choice. A left shot who has chemistry with Doughty, he's a classic Mike Babcock selection. Like Marc-Edouard Vlasic, he plays a skilled, two-way game with very little risk. He might end up as the seventh D, with Burns sliding onto a righty-righty third pair, but even then he's a better pick than Subban or Kris Letang because he provides insurance on the left side.

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No real surprises on Team North American, the under-23 gimmick squad. Some might take issue with top draft prospect Auston Matthews making the club over experienced NHL players like Robby Fabbri or Boone Jenner, but his performance at the World Championships proved he belongs. His combination of size, speed and skill gives this club a real boost. 

Russia offered the first surprises of the day, leaving off veteran forwards Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov but including Slava Voynov.

The former Los Angeles Kings blueliner was suspended by the NHL in 2014 after being charged with spousal abuse. He later pleaded no contest to a reduced charge and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Facing deportation from the United States upon his release, he left the country and returned to Russia, where he found employment in the KHL.

The NHL announced on Friday that it will review Voynov's eligibility to take part in the World Cup tournament, which will be played entirely in Toronto from Sept. 17 to Oct 1.

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“We will obviously have to review his status with the Players' Association prior to the start of the tournament in September," Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN. "It is not my current expectation that this player will be deemed eligible to play in the World Cup of Hockey."

Kovalchuk's omission is glaring only for his familiarity to NHL fans. The former 50-goal man, who has spent the past three seasons in the KHL, was scratched by his team during the playoffs for his indifferent play.

Radulov made his intentions known that he would pursue another shot at the NHL after his current KHL agreement expired this season. It's possible he was left off as retaliation for snubbing the Russian league, but it's equally likely that management felt it had better options than the 29-year-old former Predator. Neither Radulov nor Kovalchuk skated for Russia at the just-completed World Championships, which were staged in Moscow. The host team claimed the bronze medal at the event.

Finland included 2016 NHL Draft prospect Patrik Laine, who recently dominated at the Worlds, and Carolina draft pick Sebastian Aho, but left off Jesse Puljujarvi.

Early Norris favorite John Klingberg was passed over by Team Sweden. That's not a particularly surprising development, given their strength on the right side (Erik Karlsson, Anton Stralman, Niklas Hjalmarsson) and their already deep power play, but it's sure to rile up fans who'll question why Niklas Kronwall was selected ahead of him.

Gustav Nyquist was an unexpected snub by the Swedes. The Red Wings forward is coming off a solid World Championships where he led Tre Kroner with seven goals. Washington forward Marcus Johansson, who begged out of the Worlds because of injury, was also omitted.

Here are the final rosters, with Friday's final seven player additions denoted with a (*):

 
TEAM USA
GOALIES
Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils
DEFENSE
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets
John Carlson, Washington Capitals
Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche*
Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets*
Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers
Matt Niskanen, Washington Capitals*
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
FORWARDS
Justin Abdelkader, Red Wings
David Backes, Blues*
Ryan Callahan, Lightning*
Brandon Dubinsky, Blue Jackets*
Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
Ryan Kesler, Ducks
T.J. Oshie, Capitals
Max Pacioretty, Canadiens
Zach Parise, Wild
Joe Pavelski, Sharks
Derek Stepan, Rangers
James van Riemsdyk, Maple Leafs*
Blake Wheeler, Jets

 

TEAM CANADA
GOALIES
Corey Crawford, Blackhawks
Braden Holtby, Capitals
Carey Price, Canadiens
DEFENSE
Brent Burns, Sharks*
Drew Doughty, Kings
Duncan Keith, Blackhawks
Jake Muzzin, Kings*
Alex Pietrangelo, Blues*
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Sharks
Shea Weber, Predators
FORWARDS
Jamie Benn, Stars
Patrice Bergeron, Bruins
Jeff Carter, Kings
Sidney Crosby, Penguins
Matt Duchene, Avalanche*
Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks
Claude Giroux, Flyers*
Brad Marchand, Bruins*
Tyler Seguin, Stars
Steven Stamkos, Lightning
John Tavares, Islanders
Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks
Joe Thornton, Sharks*

 

TEAM NORTH AMERICA
GOALIES
John Gibson, Ducks
Connor Hellebuyck, Jets
Matt Murray, Penguins
DEFENSE
Aaron Ekblad, Panthers
Shayne Gostisbehere, Flyers*
Seth Jones, Blue Jackets
Ryan Murray, Blue Jackets
Colton Parayko, Blues*
Morgan Rielly, Maple Leafs
Jacob Trouba, Jets*
FORWARDS
Sean Couturier, Flyers
Jonathan Drouin, Lightning*
Jack Eichel, Sabres
Johnny Gaudreau, Flames
Dylan Larkin, Red Wings
Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Auston Matthews, Zurich (SUI)*
Connor McDavid, Oilers
J.T. Miller, Rangers
Sean Monahan, Flames
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oilers*
Brandon Saad, Blue Jackets
Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets*

 

TEAM FINLAND
GOALIES
Mikko Koskinen, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)*
Tuukka Rask, Bruins
Pekka Rinne, Predators
DEFENSE
Jyrki Jokipakka, Flames*
Sami Lepisto, Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)*
Esa Lindell, Stars
Olli Maatta, Penguins
Ville Pokka, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)*
Rasmus Ristolainen, Sabres
Sami Vatanen, Ducks
FORWARDS
​Sebastian Aho, Karpat Oulu (SM-liiga)*
Aleksander Barkov, Panthers
Joonas Donskoi, Sharks
Valtteri Filppula, Lightning
Mikael Granlund, Wild
Erik Haula, Wild*
Jussi Jokinen, Panthers
Mikko Koivu, Wild
Leo Komarov, Maple Leafs
Lauri Korpikoski, Oilers
Patrik Laine, Tappara Tempere (SM-liiga)*
Jori Lehtera, Blues
Teuvo Teravainen, Blackhawks

 

TEAM CZECH REPUBLIC
GOALIES
Petr Mrazek, Red Wings
Michal Neuvirth, Flyers
Ondrej Pavelec, Jets
DEFENSE
Radko Gudas, Flyers
Michal Jordan, Hurricanes*
Michal Kempny, Blackhawks
Zbynek Michalek, Coyotes*
D Jakub Nakladal, Flames*
D Roman Polak, Sharks
D Andrej Sustr, Lightning
FORWARDS
Radek Faksa, Stars*
Michael Frolik, Flames
Martin Hanzal, Coyotes
Ales Hemsky, Stars*
Tomas Hertl, Sharks
Dmitrij Jaskin, Blues*
David Krejci, Bruins
Milan Michalek, Maple Leafs*
Ondrej Palat, Lightning
David Pastrnak, Bruins
Tomas Plekanec, Canadiens
Vladimir Sobotka, Avangard Omsk (KHL)
Jakub Voracek, Flyers

 

TEAM RUSSIA
GOALIES
Sergei Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets
Semyon Varlamov, Avalanche
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
DEFENSE
Alexei Emelin, Canadiens*
Dmitry Kulikov, Panthers
Alexey Marchenko, Red Wings*
Andrei Markov, Canadiens
Dmitry Orlov, Capitals
Slava Voynov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)*
Nikita Zaitsev, Maple Leafs*
FORWARDS
Artem Anisimov, Blackhawks
Evgenii Dadonov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)*
Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings
Nikita Kucherov, Lightning
Nikolay Kulemin, Islanders
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals
Evgeni Malkin, Penguins
Vladislav Namestnikov, Lightning
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
Artemi Panarin, Blackhawks
Vadim Shipachev, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)*
Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues
Ivan Telegin, CSKA Moscow (KHL)*

 

TEAM SWEDEN
GOALIES
Robin Lehner, Sabres*
Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers
Jacob Markstrom, Canucks
DEFENSE
Mattias Ekholm, Predators*
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Coyotes
Victor Hedman, Lightning
Niklas Hjalmarsson, Blackhawks
Erik Karlsson, Senators
Niklas Kronwall, Red Wings
Anton Stralman, Lightning
FORWARDS
Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals
Loui Eriksson, Bruins
Filip Forsberg, Predators
Carl Hagelin, Penguins*
Patric Hornqvist, Penguins*
Marcus Kruger, Blackhawks*
Gabriel Landeskog, Avalanche
Daniel Sedin, Canucks
Henrik Sedin, Canucks
Jakob Silfverberg, Ducks*
Carl Soderberg, Avalanche*
Alexander Steen, Blues
Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings

 

TEAM EUROPE
GOALIES
Frederik Andersen, Ducks (Denmark)
Thomas Greiss, Islanders (Germany)*
Jaroslav Halak, Islanders (Slovakia)
DEFENSE
Zdeno Chara, Bruins (Slovakia)
Christian Ehrhoff, Blackhawks (Germany)*
Roman Josi, Predators (Switzerland)
Luca Sbisa, Canucks (Switzerland)*
Dennis Seidenberg, Bruins (Germany)
Andrej Sekera, Oilers (Slovakia)
Mark Streit, Flyers (Switzerland)
FORWARDS
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Flyers (France)*
Mikkel Boedker, Avalanche (Denmark)
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers (Germany)
Marian Gaborik, Kings (Slovakia)*
Jannik Hansen, Canucks (Denmark)
Marian Hossa, Blackhawks (Slovakia)
Anze Kopitar, Kings (Slovenia)
Nino Niederreiter, Wild (Switzerland)*
Frans Nielsen,Islanders (Denmark)
Tobias Rieder, Coyotes (Germany)*
Tomas Tatar, Red Wings (Slovakia)
Thomas Vanek, Wild (Austria)
Mats Zuccarello, Rangers (Norway)

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