Hockey World Cup roster day: Kovalchuk may play
MOSCOW (AP) The Latest on the World Cup of Hockey roster announcements (all times local):
With 16 players representing seven countries, Team Europe general manager Miroslav Satan wonders how quickly his squad can capture a sense of identity.
''New team, new logo with no history,'' Satan said after announcing his World Cup of Hockey roster. ''This is going to be the biggest challenge for us.''
It doesn't help that a number of his players will actually be representing their countries in Olympic qualifying tournaments shortly before the World Cup camp opens.
Satan spent Tuesday night in Buffalo to scout the Sabres game against the Oilers. Two Oilers were selected, forward Leon Draisaitl and defenseman Andrej Sekera.
At 20, Draistaitl is currently Europe's youngest player. Satan noted that he was seeking some young legs to complement what will essentially be a veteran roster.
Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara leads the list of five Slovakian players included among the first 16 players selected to Team Europe's World Cup of Hockey roster.
Overall, players from seven nations are represented, including Slovenia's Anze Kopitar, Austria's Thomas Vanek and Norway's Mats Zuccarello.
In going with an eight-team format, the NHL and NHL Players' Association elected to include a squad consisting of players not from the four European nations represented: Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic.
General manager Miroslav Satan included youth on his roster by selecting Edmonton forward Leon Draisaitl and Nashville defenseman Roman Josi.
Satan also filled two of three goalie spots with the Islanders' Jaroslav Halak and Anaheim's Frederik Andersen.
Team Europe roster:
Goalies: Frederik Andersen (Denmark), Jaroslav Halak (Slovakia).
Defensemen: Zdeno Chara (Slovakia), Roman Josi (Switzerland), Dennis Seidenberg (Germany), Andrej Sekera (Slovakia), Mark Streit (Switzerland).
Forwards: Mikkel Boedker (Denmark), Leon Draisaitl (Germany), Jannik Hansen (Denmark), Marian Hossa (Slovakia), Anze Kopitar (Slovenia), Frans Nielsen (Denmark), Tomas Tatar (Slovakia), Thomas Vanek (Austria), Mats Zuccarello (Norway).
Sweden has so much depth at defense that the team has no room on its World Cup of Hockey roster for Dallas Stars' second-year player John Klingberg just yet.
Based on experience and a balance of offensive and defensive abilities, general manager Tommy Boustedt said he had no choice but to pass over Klingberg in filling six of seven defensemen roster spots.
''John Klingberg is of course one very strong contender,'' Boustedt said. ''But I think so far we have picked the six best.''
It's hard to argue with a group that includes Ottawa's Erik Karlsson, Arizona's Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson.
''These six players have played in so many important games,'' Boustedt said. ''There will be a tough run for that seventh D spot, I think.''
Forward Nicklas Backstrom, two-time Norris Trophy defenseman Erik Karlsson and 2012 Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Henrik Lundqvist are among the first 16 players selected to Sweden's World Cup of Hockey roster.
Also selected were the Vancouver Canucks twin forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg and Arizona defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Most notably, Sweden general manager Tommy Boustedt filled six of what is expected to be seven defensive slots before he's required to make the team's final seven selections by June 1. One notable player missing is Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, whose 53 points rank third among NHL defenseman and 21st overall.
The team features a balanced and deep mix of veterans and youngsters, such as Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog and Nashville's Filip Forsberg.
Goaltenders: Henrik Lundqvist, Jacob Markstrom.
Defensemen: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Victor Hedman, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Erik Karlsson, Niklas Kronwall, Anton Stralman.
Forwards: Nicklas Backstrom, Loui Eriksson, Filip Forsberg, Gabriel Landeskog, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Alexander Steen, Henrik Zetterberg.
Czech Republic general manager Martin Rucinsky says Jaromir Jagr is focused solely on playing this season with the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers before determining whether he'll compete in the World Cup of Hockey in September.
Rucinsky is taking a patient approach in hoping Jagr will play after having a lengthy conversation with the 44-year-old star last week.
''I talked to him, and I'm not going to try to convince him,'' Rucinsky said during a conference call announcing the team's initial 16-player roster. ''I think Jags deserves a lot of respect from all of us, for what he did for the national team. That's why we're going to give him some time to see how he feels after the season.''
Teams have until June 1 to make their final seven roster selections.
Czech Republic roster:
Goaltenders: Petr Mrazek, Michal Neuvirth, Ondrej Pavelec
Defensemen: Radko Gudas, Michal Kempny, Roman Polak, Andrej Sustr
Forwards: Michael Frolik, Martin Hanzal, Tomas Hertl, David Krejci, Ondrej Palat, David Pastrnak, Tomas Plekanec, Vladimir Sobotka, Jakub Voracek
Veteran star Jaromir Jagr has not been included in the first 16 players selected to the Czech Republic's World Cup of Hockey roster.
The 44-year-old forward's future has been in question beyond this season, his second with the Florida Panthers. Jagr has played on four of the nation's Olympic squads, starting with the 1998 gold medal-winning team.
Jagr leads the Panthers with 46 points (21 goals, 25 assist) in 60 games.
Philadelphia Flyers teammates, forward Jakub Voracek and goalie Michal Neuvirth, are among the 16 players selected.
The team filled all three goalie spots, which are rounded out by Detroit's Peter Mrazek and Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec.
Russian Hockey Federation president Vladislav Tretiak says former New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk could still play at the World Cup despite missing out on Russia's 16-man roster.
Kovalchuk has played for Kontinental Hockey League team SKA St. Petersburg since walking out on the Devils in 2013 and has been a key player for the Russian national team in recent years.
''The coaches will decide about Kovalchuk,'' Tretiak told Russian state news agency Tass. ''You have to deserve it with your game to make the national team. The gates are open for everyone.''
Kovalchuk has been left out of the team for SKA's last four KHL playoff games following an unspecified disciplinary issue that also resulted in two other players being sent to farm teams.
Russia's 16-man roster for the World Cup did not feature any players from outside the NHL, a decision which coach Oleg Znarok said was made because the tournament is played on an NHL-size rink rather than international ice.
Goaltenders: Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne
Defensemen: Olli Maatta, Rasmus Ristolainen, Sami Vatenen, Esa Lindell
Forwards: Aleksander Barkov, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund, Jussi Jokinen, Joonas Donskoi, Valtteri Filppula, Leo Komarov, Lauri Korpikoski, Jori Lehtera, Teuvo Teravainen
Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators were both included in Finland's team for the World Cup of Hockey.
The Nordic country will go into the competition with less experience than when it won bronze at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, with players like Teemu Selanne having retired.
The 16 players who were announced Wednesday included other NHL players, including defensemen Olli Maatta of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Rasmus Ristolainen of the Buffalo Sabres and Sami Vatenen of the Anaheim Ducks.
Goaltenders: Sergei Bobrovsky, Semyon Varlamov, Andrei Vasilevsky
Defensemen: Dmitry Kulikov, Andrei Markov, Dmitry Orlov
Forwards: Artem Anisimov, Pavel Datsyuk, Nikita Kucherov, Nikolai Kulemin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Evgeni Malkin, Vladislav Namestnikov, Alex Ovechkin, Artemi Panarin, Vladimir Tarasenko
Washington Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov head Russia's roster for the World Cup of Hockey.
The Russian Hockey Federation's 16-man roster mixes established names such as Russian Olympic team regulars Pavel Datsyuk and Evgeny Malkin with up-and-comers such as the Tampa Bay Lightning pair of Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov.
Just three defensemen made the list, including Montreal's Andrei Markov.
Russia had the option to pick players from outside the NHL, but opted not to, coach Oleg Znarok citing the fact that the World Cup will be played on NHL ice, rather than Olympic-size ice.
Each team must announce 16 players Thursday, with a further seven to be added by June 1.
The World Cup runs from Sept. 17 through Oct. 1, ahead of the NHL preseason.