Soon after the Capitals were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov were “called up” by Team Russia for the IIHF World Championships.
Whether the players are willing and healthy enough to compete remains to be seen. In past years the Capitals have confirmed the players’ participation shortly after the public invitation with a PR release.
Team Russia has already confirmed the arrivals of NHLers Ilya Kovalchuk, Nikita Kucherov, Evgeny Malkin, Mikhail Sergachev, Artyom Anisimov, and goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The tournament runs May 10-25 in Bratislava and Košice, Slovakia. Team Russia’s first game will take place on May 10 against Norway.
Defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forwards Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, all players of the Washington Capitals in the NHL, have been called up to the senior Russian national team. #TeamRussia
— Russia Hockey (@russiahockey_en) April 25, 2019
All three players attended in 2016 and were inseperable. Orlov and Kuznetsov played in 2017, while Ovechkin missed Worlds for the first time due to a hamstring injury. All three had to miss last year’s for obvious reasons.
National team General Manager, Roman Rotenberg, spoke about the team’s preparation and the arrival of NHL players who have been summoned:
– We have been in contact with all national team candidates during the entire season, including NHL players.
We can now say that Ilya Kovalchuk will join the national team on April 22, Nikita Kucherov, Evgeny Malkin, Mikhail Sergachev and Artyom Anisimov will be here by April 27, and goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy will arrive by April 28.
We have received all of the necessary permission from the relevant clubs and confirmation from the players themselves.
Our team is continuing to prepare for the World Championship. Yesterday, with great support from fans in Sochi, we played in the first match against Switzerland. Our team feels the support of the entire country. We invite everyone to the game against Switzerland on Saturday in Sochi, which will take place at the Shayba Arena.
Headline photo: Russian Hockey Federation
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