COLOGNE/MANNHEIM – The Russian Hockey Federation confirmed that Pittsburgh Penguins players Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin are on their way to Cologne to join the Russian national team at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.
Each team was allowed to have 20 skaters and three goalkeepers in the Preliminary Round, but they can now add two more players to have up to 25 players on the roster.
Russian head coach Vyacheslav Bykov made his choice when Gonchar and Malkin said “da” after the Penguins’ got ousted from the NHL playoffs by the Montreal Canadiens.
Malkin, who played in two Olympics, will compete in his fourth World Championship. Together with Sidney Crosby, Malkin was one of the leaders behind the Stanley Cup triumph one year ago and the 23-year-old Russian was also the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs’ most valuable player.
This season, the Magnitogorsk native collected 88 points (33+55) in 80 games, including playoffs, for the Penguins this season. Last year he scored 149 points.
Defenceman Sergei Gonchar, 36, and a four-time Olympian, will play in his third World Championship. The Chelyabinsk native had one of his most productive NHL seasons, scoring 13 goals and 49 assists in 75 games (including playoffs).
Alexander Svitov, Evgeni Artyukhin and Denis Denisov, who praticed with the national team, were thanked for their professional attitude and sent home.
Host nation Germany added two defencemen: Christian Ehrhoff of the Vancouver Canucks (see separate story) and Frank Hördler of Eisbären Berlin.
Finland completes its roster by adding 24-year-old defenceman Juuso Hietanen from Swedish Brynäs Gävle and 22-year-old forward Oskar Osala, of the Carolina Hurricanes, although he played mostly for the Hershey Bears and the Albany River Rats in the AHL this season, in addition to one game for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. Both players make their World Championship debut in Germany.
Canada added World Juniors MVP, forward Jordan Eberle of the WHL’s Regina Pats one day before his 20th birthday. UPDATE: Two new players are on their way to Mannheim where they will join the team by Saturday. Mason Raymond will play in his first international tournament and be the second Vancouver Canuck to join the World Championship. The 24-year-old forward completed his third NHL season. In 82 games he had 25 goals and 28 assists. Devan Dubnyk was added as third goalkeeper. The 24-year-old had his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers playing 19 games. He also had 33 AHL games with the Springfield Falcons this season.
Sweden previously announced the addition of Mikael Backlund (see separate story), who split his season between the Calgary Flames (NHL) and the Abbotsford Heat (AHL).
UPDATE: The Czech Republic a third goalkeeper with Jakub Stepanek, 23, of Vitkovice Ostrava, and two defencemen: Tomas Mojzis, 29, of Swedish club MODO Örnsköldsvik and Ondrej Nemec, 26, of HC Karlovy Vary.
UPDATE: Belarus made use of one addition by registering 20-year-old forward Sergei Drozd of the WHL's Tri-City Americans. Drozd, who played 11 KHL games for Dynamo Minsk last year, represented Belarus in two World U20 Championships (Division I) and will play for the first time at senior level.
Latvia is joined by 21-year-old defenceman Arturs Kulda of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves and 22-year-old forward Kaspars Saulietis of Czech club HC Litvinov. Kulda played 78 games (7 goals, 23 assists) for the Wolves and four NHL games for the Atlanta Thrashers.
Denmark used one of the two possible additions to register 23-year-old forward Jesper Jensen of the Danish club Frederikshavn White Hawks.
Norway added defenceman Brede Csiszar, 23, of Vålerenga Oslo and forward Andreas Martinsen, 19, of Lillehammer IK to the team roster.
France bolsters its roster with defenceman Kévin Igier, 23, of the Angers Ducs and forward Loïc Lamperier, 20, of the Rouen Dragons. As Cristobal Huet’s season with the Chicago Blackhawks goes on, Florian Hardy of the Dijon Ducs was registered as the third goalkeeper.
France’s relegation round opponent Italy also added two players from the domestic league: defenceman Stefano Marchetti, 23, of SG Pontebba and forward Giorgio De Bettin, 37, of SC Cortina.
UPDATE: Kazakhstan added two players that play for domestic clubs with defenceman Georgi Petrov, 21, of Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk (RUS-2) and forward Alexei Vorontsov, 24, of Barys Astana (KHL).
The Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Norway have full rosters now while Belarus, Canada, Denmark, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States can still register more players.