P.K. Subban leads list of notable omissions for Hockey World Cup
Corey Perry, Brent Seabrook also not included for Canada; Phil Kessel left of U.S. roster,
The speculation is finally over.
The full World Cup of Hockey rosters were announced on Friday and there were more than just a few talented players left off the eight competing squads.
Perhaps "snub" isn't the right word considering the calibre of players that were selected, but here are some of the notable omissions.
The fact that Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban was left off the initial 15-man roster came as a surprise to many. To see Los Angeles Kings rearguard Jake Muzzin named to the final roster instead of Subban has some Canadian fans in fits of rage.
Subban, the 2013 Norris Trophy winner, was both praised and criticized for his 'high-risk, high-reward' play over the past season. He finished with six goals and 51 points in 68 games this season for the Canadiens.
No PK Subban at the world Cup. Same thing for Kristopher Letang. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/tvasports?src=hash">#tvasports</a>—@renlavoietva
Muzzin has proved more than a capable defender in his five seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. He recorded 40 points in 82 games for the Kings in 2015-16.
Other notable Team Canada omissions include forward Corey Perry and defenceman Brent Seabrook.
Perry, a former Hart Trophy winner, got off to a horrific start, scoring just two goals in his first 15 games with the Anaheim Ducks. However, he rediscovered his scoring touch in the second half of the season, finishing with 34 goals and 28 assists.
It is somewhat of a surprise that Seabrook was left off Team Canada's roster given his chemistry with fellow Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith. Keith was named to the roster but Seabrook was not.
Phil Kessel left off
Two-time Olympian Phil Kessel was left off of the United States' roster despite being a major factor in the Pittsburgh Penguins' run to the Stanley Cup Final. Kessel leads the Penguins in playoff scoring with nine goals and nine assists.
USA will struggle to keep up offensively with a couple elite teams at World Cup. No Kessel. Feel free to retweet this when it happens.—@MikeKellyNHL
Instead, the Americans elected to fill their final forward spots with Brandon Dubinsky (Columbus), James van Riemsdyk (Toronto), Ryan Callahan (Tampa Bay) and St. Louis Blues captain David Backes.
Matthews makes Team North America
Team North America selected top prospect Auston Matthews over several established NHL players. Co-general managers Stan Bowman and Peter Chiarelli left off players such as Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk and Arizona Coyotes standout rookie Max Domi in favour of the widely considered No.1 overall pick in this June's NHL Entry Draft.
Galchenyuk, a former third-overall pick in 2012, had 56 points in 82 games, while Domi scored 18 goals and collected 52 points.
Matthews is coming off a strong showing at the IIHF World Hockey Championships for the United States leading the squad with six goals in the tournament. The Scottsdale, Ariz. native will be the youngest player on the under-23 team but has significant experience playing against older, more experienced players with the Zurich Lions of the National League A (Switzerland's most competitive professional league). Matthews was awarded the league's rising star award and also collected the second-most votes for the league's most valuable player award.
When Chiarellil was asked about selecting Matthews, he explained to the Associated Press that the 18-year-old was "a difference-maker."
"We couldn't ignore it."
Chiarelli on Auston Matthews at worlds: "He was a difference-maker at that level. We couldn’t ignore it."—@SWhyno
Voynov's World Cup status in doubt
Team Russia puzzled many by selecting former Kings defenceman Slava Voynov to their roster. The 26-year-old Russian served two months in jail following domestic abuse charges. Voynov voluntarily returned to Russia in 2015, effectively ending his career with the Kings. His $19.25 million contract was voided by the NHL club.
The move to select Voynov is especially surprising as he may not be even eligible to participate in the tournament. The NHL and the Players Association have agreed to review the case.
Veterans Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov were, in turn, left off of the Russian roster.
Team Finland included top prospect Patrik Laine but elected to omit fellow youngster Jesse Puljujarvi. Laine impressed in the IIHF World Hockey Championship with 12 points in 10 games. Puljujarvi did not participate in that tournament, but did put up 28 points in 50 games with Kärpät of the Finnish Liiga. The 18-year-old Puljujarvi showed his explosive talent at the World Junior Championships posting 17 points in seven games en route to Finland's gold medal victory.