ZURICH-KLOTEN, SWITZERLAND – Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong announced on Wednesday changes to Canada’s roster for the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland, which runs from April 24-May 10 in Zurich-Kloten and Bern.
The team has added defenceman Marc-Édouard Vlasic (Montreal, Que./San Jose, NHL).
Meanwhile, forward James Neal (Whitby, Ont./Dallas, NHL) is returning home and will not be available to Team Canada for the remainder of the World Championship. Neal suffered a facial laceration near his left eye, and will return to Dallas for further evaluation.
Defenceman Joel Kwiatkowski (Kindersley, Sask./ Severstal, KHL) was also added to the official roster in time to dress for Canada’s 7-3 win over Slovakia on Tuesday.
Canada’s active roster now includes 22 players, including three goaltenders, eight defencemen and 11 forwards. With Neal also remaining on the roster, Canada has two additional roster spots available.
The roster now includes 14 players with World Championship experience (Armstrong, Doan, Fisher, Hamhuis, Heatley, Horcoff, Lombardi, Mason, Phillips, Roloson, Roy, St. Louis, Spezza, Weber). Six of the World Championship rookies (Doughty, Harding, Schenn, Stamkos, Upshall, White) have had international experience with Canada’s National Junior Team. Vlasic has no previous international experience.
Armstrong and assistant general managers Pierre Gauthier and Joe Nieuwendyk, along with Hockey Canada executive vice-president of hockey operations Johnny Misley, will continue to monitor the NHL playoff situation and could name more players to Canada’s World Championship roster. Canada can register up to 25 players to its roster for the 2009 IIHF World Championship.
Canada’s World Championship management group is working closely with Canada’s 2010 Olympic Management Group, led by Executive Director Steve Yzerman, in assembling this team and using this as an additional opportunity to prepare for the 2009-10 season, which will include the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Canada faces either the Czech Republic or Finland in its first game of the qualification round at the 2009 IIHF World Championship, on Thursday, April 30 at 2:15 p.m. (ET)/8:15 p.m. (local time).
TSN/RDS will broadcast all of Canada’s games at the IIHF World Championship live across Canada. Check your local listings for game times in your area.