Joe Thornton 1 of 7 added to Canada's World Cup roster
P.K. Subban doesn't make the cut; Phil Kessel left off U.S. roster
Canada's roster for the World Cup of Hockey was finalized Friday night with the addition of four forwards and three defencemen.
Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks were added at forward. On defence, Brent Burns of the Sharks was named to the squad along with Jake Muzzin of the Los Angeles Kings and Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues.
No easy decisions
"The decisions weren't easy and with the depth of player talent we have in Canada, we knew it would be a difficult process to finalize our roster — but it's what we signed up for, and we feel we've been able to put together the right balance to create a winning team," general manager Doug Armstrong said in a release.
"Whether we're talking the Stanley Cup, world junior gold, world championship gold, or even the last World Cup — these players have been there and know what it takes to be successful.
"And they'll be ready to make the nation proud come September."
'The reason you play'
The most notable player to fail to make the cut was Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban. Playoff scoring leader Logan Couture of the Sharks and Ducks forward Corey Perry were also left off the list.
Sixteen players were named to the Canadian squad last March. The initial list was headlined by stars like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Jamie Benn, Drew Doughty and Carey Price.
The best-on-best international hockey championship will be held Sept. 17-Oct. 1 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
"This is one of the two best things I achieved in my career — the other is making the Olympic team, which felt just as good as winning Olympic gold," said Duchene. "I have so much respect for Canadian players. To be selected from among all of that talent is a feeling I just can't really describe.
"It's a big reason why you play. To represent your country is an absolute honour and so unbelievable."
Thornton was a member of the Canadian team that won gold when the World Cup was last played in 2004.
Here is a look at the full Canadian roster:
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks; Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals; Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens.
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks; Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles Kings; Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues; Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks; Shea Weber, Nashville Predators.
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars; Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche; Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks; Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers; Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins; Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning; John Tavares, New York Islanders; Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks; Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks.
Head Coach: Mike Babcock, Toronto Maple Leafs.
The tournament begins Sept. 17 in Toronto.
Kessel left off U.S. roster
Two-time Olympic forward Phil Kessel failed to make the final cut for the United States' World Cup of Hockey roster Friday, a day after helping the Pittsburgh Penguins reach the Stanley Cup Final.
In passing over the 10-year NHL veteran, Team USA officials filled the final four forward spots with Columbus' Brandon Dubinsky, Toronto's James van Riemsdyk, Tampa Bay's Ryan Callahan and St. Louis captain David Backes. The remaining defence spots went to Colorado's Erik Johnson, Columbus' Jack Johnson and Washington's Matt Niskanen.
Kessel was left off despite a post-season in which he's leading the Penguins with nine goals and 18 points. At the 2014 Sochi Games, the U.S. finished fourth with Kessel scoring a team-leading five goals and eight points.
Other notables missing the cut were Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan and St. Louis defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk.
Matthews added to Team North America
Auston Matthews has a ticket to play hockey in Toronto in September even if the Maple Leafs don't select the U.S.-born player first overall in the NHL draft.
The 18-year-old forward was among the final seven players selected to Team North America's World Cup of Hockey roster Friday. Matthews led the fourth-place Americans with seven goals and 11 points at the world championships in Russia this month.
The North American roster consists of American- and Canadian-born players 23 years and younger.
NHL Central Scouting ranks Matthews as the top draft-eligible prospect.
Matthews is from Scottsdale, Arizona, and spent last season playing professionally in Switzerland.
No Jagr for Czechs
The Czech Republic will have to do without Jaromir Jagr at the World Cup of Hockey in September.
Jagr retired from the national team after last year's world championship, and was not included in the first 16 players for the Czech's World Cup squad announced March 2.
But Czech Republic general manager Martin Rucinsky and coach Josef Jandac hoped the 44-year-old Jagr would change his view after yet another productive NHL season. Jagr led the Florida Panthers with 66 points (27 goals, 39 assists) in 79 games in the regular season and added two assists in the playoffs.
"We gave him time to decide," Jandac said about Jagr, who was left off the final 23-man roster announced Friday.
Russia bulked up its backline with three NHL based defenceman when it announced its final roster.
Alexei Emelin of the Montreal Canadiens, Alexey Marchenko of the Detroit Red Wings and Nikita Zaitsev, who signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs this month, are the only NHL players of the seven added Friday to the Russian team.
Voynov's status unclear
The remaining four, forwards Evgeny Dadonov, Vadim Shipachyov and Ivan Telegin, and defenceman Slava Voynov, play in the KHL.
"We've got experienced veterans who bring the team together – Pavel Datsyuk and Andrei Markov – and also a big group of players aged 25 and under," Russian Hockey Federation president Vladislav Tretiak said.
However, in a statement to ESPN, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he doubts that Voynov – who was suspended by the league for all but six games of the 2014-15 season after he was charged with spousal abuse – will be allowed to play in the competition.
"We will obviously have to review [Voynov's] status with the Players' Association prior to the start of the tournament in September. It is not my current expectation that this player will be deemed eligible to play in the World Cup of Hockey."
After Jagr's refusal, Jandac added four forwards to the squad, including Ales Hemsky and Radek Faksa of the Dallas Stars, Milan Michalek of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dmitrij Jaskin of the St. Louis Blues.
Defencemen Zbynek Michalek, Jakub Nakladal and Michal Jordan complete the squad.
Sweden bolstered an already deep and talented lineup with Nashville's Mattias Ekholm landing the final defensive spot, ahead of Dallas' John Klingberg, who ranked fifth among NHL blue-liners with 58 points last season. A day after helping Pittsburgh qualify for the Stanley Cup Final, Penguins forwards Patric Hornqvist and Carl Hagelin earned spots on the Swedish roster.
Earlier Friday, forward Patrik Laine was among the seven players added to Finland's roster.
The 18-year-old Laine helped Finland claim silver at the world championships in Russia with seven goals and 12 points and was voted the tournament's MVP.
Laine, a No. 1 draft pick contender, won the top Finnish league with Tappara Tampere this season. The draft is scheduled for June 24-25.
Laine will team up with another 18-year-old forward, Carolina Hurricanes prospect Sebastian Aho, with whom he won the 2016 world junior championship.
The other five players who join the preliminary roster of 16 announced in March include Minnesoa forward Erik Haula, Chicago minor-league defencemen Ville Pokka, Sami Lepisto and Dallas' Jyrki Jokipakka, and goaltender Mikko Koskinen, the best goalie at the 2016 worlds.
The World Cup runs from Sept. 17 through Oct. 1.
With files from CBC Sports