2017 World Hockey Championships Preview!

Asterix and Obelix IIHF WHC 2017

The World Hockey Championships start today!

What are the World Hockey Championships? A really fun international hockey tournament! I wrote a primer for it here. You can find the official site for the WHC here.

When can I start watching? Today! The NHL Network is showing Sweden vs. Russia at 10:00am Eastern. That’ll be followed by Team USA vs. Germany at 2:00pm Eastern, then a rebroadcast of Czech Republic vs. Canada at 8:00pm Eastern.

What happened last year? Brad Marchand and Team Canada won gold! They defeated Finland 2-0 in the finals in Moscow, Finland taking Silver. Russia lit up Team USA 7-2 in the bronze medal game. Kazakhstan and Hungary relegated to Division I, while Slovenia and Italy were promoted to the top tier.

So the WHC was in Moscow and St. Petersburg last year. Where is it this year? Germany and France are co-hosting in 2017, Köln (Cologne) in Germany and Paris in France. Asterix and Obelix are the mascots.

SPOILER ALERT: Denmark cannot be relegated this year because they are hosting next year – host countries are automatically qualified. Austria and South Korea finished #1 and #2, respectively, in the Division I Group A championships this year, so they’ll be promoted to the top tier in 2018.

I did jersey reviews last year. This year there isn’t much good information on what jerseys everyone is wearing, so I’ll do a jersey review article after I’ve watched some games. We definitely have some new ones with Slovenia and Italy in the mix.

Here’s the lowdown on the teams competing:

Group A (playing in Cologne)

Russia
Actual name: Росси́я (Rossija)
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Second in Group A, Bronze
Do I know any of these people? Andrei Vasilevski, Ivan Provorov, Artemi Panarin, Nikita Kucherov, and Vladislav Namestnikov are your NHLers. Everyone else on the roster comes from the KHL. There’s a good chance Vadim Shipachyov will sign with an NHL team this year, so here’s a good chance to take a look at him.
Possible NHL reinforcements: A lot of firepower. Anton Slepyshev, Pavel Buchnevich, Evgeni Malkin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Nail Yakupov, Ivan Barbashev, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetzov, Dmitri Orlov.

USA
Actual name: USA
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Fourth in Group B, Fourth overall
Do I know any of these people? Charlie McAvoy and Anders Bjork makes their WHC debut! Team USA has traditionally used the WHC as a development opportunity and this year is no different – the bulk of the team is between 18 and 24 years old. Nearly all of them are in the NHL, but a few are from the NCAA, such as Anders Bjork, Jordan Greenway, and Daniel Brickley.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Cam Fowler, John Gibson, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Brady Skjei, Adam Clendening, Jake Guentzel, Brian Dumoulin, Jordan Schmaltz, Nate Schmidt. Huh, perhaps Phil Kessel, who was suspiciously left off of the Team USA World Cup roster, but he might be too busy winning the Stanley Cup this year.

Sweden
Actual name: Sverige
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Third in Group A, Sixth overall
Do I know any of these people? Carl Soderberg finally gets to play for Team Sweden! Not much in the big names in forwards – Gabriel Landeskog is the best of the bunch. However, the defense looks great with the likes of Viktor Hedman, Jonas Brodin, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Piles of ’em, most notably Henrik Lundqvist or Erik Karlsson, depending on which of the Rangers or Senators are eliminated. Expect the Tre Kroner to greatly build in strength as the NHL playoffs move along.

Germany
Actual name: Deutschland
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Third in Group B, Seventh overall
Do I know any of these people? Sturmface is the head coach! Old friend Dennis Seidenberg, Thomas Greiss, and Tobias Rieder are the NHLers on the roster. The rest come from the DEL – I’m looking forward to watching Marcus Kink of Adler Mannheim, my “hometown” team when I lived in Germany.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers, Korbinian Holzer of the Ducks, Tom Kuhnhackl of the Penguins, and Philipp Grubauer of the Caps. Germany’s gonna need all the help they can get.

Denmark
Actual name: Danmark
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Fourth in Group A, Eighth overall
Do I know any of these people? Umm…Nikolaj Ehlers of the Jets? Perhaps you’ve heard of the super-Danish-sounding Patrick Russell of the Bakersfield Condors. Everyone else plays in Germany, Sweden, or Finland.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Just Lars Eller of the Caps.

Slovakia
Actual name: Slovensko
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Fifth in Group B, Ninth overall
Do I know any of these people? Amazingly, no. There’s not a single Slovak NHLer on the roster. They all play in the Czech League, the Slovak League, or the KHL. Their coach is Zdeno Ciger, who did play in the NHL. Zdeno Chara’s taking a break and Tomas Tatar is out with a shoulder injury. Wow, even Halak opted out.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Looks like Andrej Sekera is it.

Latvia
Actual name: Latvija
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Seventh in Group A, Thirteenth overall
Do I know any of these people? The Ghost Dog, Kaspars Daugavins! Also Zemgus Girgensons. Otherwise it’s most of the Dinamo Riga KHL team and a handful of others.
Possible NHL reinforcements: None.

Italy
Actual name: Italia
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Finished #2 in the 2016 Division I Group A championship in Katowice, Poland and were promoted to the top tier.
Do I know any of these people? Giulio Scandella is Marco Scandella’s brother. I recognize Thomas Larkin from Adler Mannheim. The rest of the roster mostly comes from the Austrian leagues.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Nope.

Group B (playing in Paris)

Canada
Actual name: Canada
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Second in Group B, Gold
Do I know any of these people? The entire roster is NHLers, but few of Canada’s top players. Claude Giroux is the captain, and they have Mark Scheifele and Mitch Marner on offense, too. Defensively, the highly-skilled yet underrated Marc-Edouard Vlasic is on their roster, but so is Calvin de Haan. Hi, I’m Chad Johnson and Calvin Pickard are their goalies. Looks like Team Canada’s taking it easy after winning the World Cup.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Plenty, but most of the best were on the World Cup roster and will likely sit out the WHC.

Finland
Actual name: Suomi
2017 Roster
What happened last year? First in Group B, Silver
Do I know any of these people? Not as many as you’d expect. There’s old buddy Joonas Kemppainen, plus Joonas Korpisalo, one of the Sebastian Ahos, Markus Hannikainen, Valtteri Filppula, and Mikko Rantanen. Oh, and Julius Honka, a top prospect for the Dallas Stars. The rest are in the KHL or the Finnish league. Tuukka played in the World Cup, so he’s sitting this one out.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Sami Vatanen, Iiro Pakarinen, Miika Salomaki, Pekka Rinne, Juuse Saros, Aanti Raanta, Jyrki Jokipakka, Olli Maata, Jori Lehtera,

Czech Republic
Actual name: Česko
2017 Roster
What happened last year? First in Group A, Fifth overall
Do I know any of these people? PASTA!!!! But not Krejci. Or Jagr. Also on the roster are Petr Mrazek, Radko Gudas, Michal Kempny, Turtleneck Plekanec, and Jakub Voracek. A player to watch for (other than Pasta, of course), is Jakub Jerabek, a defenseman who was recently signed by the Habs.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Dominik Simon, a Penguins prospect? Dmitrij Jaskin and Vladimir Sobotka of the Blues.

Norway
Actual name: Norge
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Fifth in Group A, Tenth overall
Do I know any of these people? Mats Zuccarello is still in the playoffs, so no. Oh wait, Andreas Martinsen? He was with the Avs but was traded to the Habs, but is now a UFA.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Mats Zuccarello.

Switzerland
Actual name: Confoederatio Helvetica
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Sixth in Group A, Eleventh overall
Do I know any of these people? You might remember Jonas Hiller, Raphael Diaz, and Damien Brunner. Something called a Denis Malgin plays for the Panthers.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Oh that’s where they all are. Roman Josi and Yannick Weber of the Predators. Jonas Siegenthaler of the Caps or Mark Streit of the Penguins.

Belarus
Actual name: Белару́сь (Bielaruś)
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Sixth in Group B, Twelfth overall
Do I know any of these people? Unless you follow Dynamo Minsk of the KHL, the only names you’ll recognize are the infamous Kostitsyn brothers. Oh and head coach Dave Lewis.
Possible NHL reinforcements: None.

France
Actual name: France
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Seventh in Group B, Fourteenth overall
Do I know any of these people? Cristobal Huet?!? Seriously?!? Still?!? Apart from him, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Antoine Roussel.
Possible NHL reinforcements: None.

Slovenia
Actual name: Slovenija
2017 Roster
What happened last year? Finished #1 in the 2016 Division I Group A championship in Katowice, Poland and were promoted to the top tier.
Do I know any of these people? No, because Anže Kopitar isn’t on the roster this year. He was on the World Cup roster for Team Europe, so presumably he’s getting himself some rest after a rough season.
Possible NHL reinforcements: None. It’s not looking good for Slovenia this year, apart from being in the tournament at all.

Satan81

About Satan81

David Krejci has a full no-movement clause.
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The London Bear
Member

Finns went 2-0 up almost immediately – it’s now 2-2!

Russia also equalised early in the third, but I can’t watch that one for the same reason I can’t watch some NHL games (blackout)

the german hammer
Admin

Fun fact: the comic adventures of Asterix and Obelix are so popular in Germany that linguists have been preserving Germanic dialects in translations of the comics. I read about this in John McWhorter’s “Power of Babel”, which is a fabulous read for those who love languages.

The London Bear
Member

those who love languages.

Like me! I will have to try to find this book.

the german hammer
Admin

It’s great. McWhorter writes in a style that makes you feel like you’re having coffee with an old friend.

the german hammer
Admin

Deutschland! I’m looking forward to catch my old buddy, and one-time dream husband with whom I accidentally started a war, Dennis Seidenberg, on the TV today.

It’s a shame that Kevin Fiala broke his femur because he too along with his other Little Switzerland mates on the Toothy Cats could bolster the CH ranks here. But we all know that the Preds are going all the way.

Mothra was on TCM very late last night and even though I have seen it a lot, and we own at least one copy of it, I needed to stay up until 3am to watch it.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

I thought Mother plays for the Send!

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Mothra, damn it!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

For tonight Germany (@DEB_eV) will play without @TheRealHoff10 (upper-body injury), Seidenberg will be captain in his absence. #IIHFWorlds

— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 5, 2017

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

“The Real Hoff”? I didn’t know David Hasselhoff was even on the team!
comment image

The London Bear
Member

There’s nothing he can’t do! (Well, except play hockey with a UBI…)

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

Or eat a hamburger while drunk!
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the german hammer
Admin

Well then I will mos def have to watch.

carvinbass18
Editor

Mothra was on TCM very late last night and even though I have seen it a lot, and we own at least one copy of it, I needed to stay up until 3am to watch it.

absolute dedication. Love it

the german hammer
Admin

comment image

Spoiler
This image is from one of the newer movies

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Congrats to Krug!

It only took 7 years, but I finally graduated from @michiganstateu. #studentathlete @MSU_Hockey thank you to those that made it possible

— Torey Krug (@ToreyKrug) May 5, 2017

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

“A lot of people take seven years to finish school”

“Yeah, they’re called doctors!”

DrHandgrenaid
Editor

(This doctor took almost eleven)

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

comment image

phonymahoney
Editor

Hey kids! I know I’ve been MIA. Tough week. Thought I’d drop in and say hiiiiii!

The London Bear
Member
Satan 81's Sister
Editor

See ya Sunday!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Great preview! And it’s proven once again, Finns have the best names.

carvinbass18
Editor

they really do

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Hey Pals!
A lot of crazy names in that preview! I think you forgot about Khoo Bitchyurassov (Russian pronunciation, of course). Still unsigned at last report.
Heading up to Jamaica State Park in Vermont this afternoon. Yes, camping. We have a lean to on the river. Seriously, if you want to party, come to Jamaica Saturday evening. Nobody parties like a bunch of crazed paddlers!
Tootsies looked overmatched last night. Hoping they can turn it around.
Lots of tea today. Pretty random – I never drink tea.
What’s everyone doing this weekend?

DrHandgrenaid
Editor

Jamaica State park is a nice campground. But holy shit now that I think about it its been a solid 19 years since I’ve stayed there

carvinbass18
Editor

Tootsies looked overmatched last night. Hoping they can turn it around

I hate this series. On one hand, I want them to beat the Rangers because Fuck New York. On the other, they beat us so fuck them

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Oh yeah, great preview, S81! You might steal the “long winded” title, though!

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Khoo Bitchyurassov

I’ve just learned that the actual Russian pronunciation of this is “Why, Stripes, why?”.

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

I think his sister Ivana plays in the women’s tournament.

The London Bear
Member

Wow, you put some work into that, Satan!

Unless you follow Dynamo Minsk

I’ve seen them play! They have crazy fans, even by European standards.

That’s the weakest Slovakia roster I’ve ever seen. I don’t think Mrs Bear’s interest is going to last long this year!

Stephane Da Costa is a guy to watch for France. He got 30 goals in 46 KHL games a couple of seasons ago. Only played 24 games this year for some reason but got 8 points in 10 playoff games.

DrHandgrenaid
Editor

Stephane Da Costa

He was the top college FA some years back out of Merrimack. Didn’t translate to anything useful with the Sens though

carvinbass18
Editor

There’s a good chance Vadim Shipachyov will sign with an NHL team this year, so here’s a good chance to take a look at him.

He signed with the Knights last night!

  • Perhaps you’ve heard of the super-Danish-sounding Patrick Russell of the Bakersfield Condors
  • Are you telling me he’s the Sean Bergenheim of Denmark?

    Great write up their S81.

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Perhaps you’ve heard of the super-Danish-sounding Patrick Russell of the Bakersfield Condors
    Are you telling me he’s the Sean Bergenheim of Denmark

    Please, take all my Recchs!

    DrHandgrenaid
    Editor

    Also, I think hes more of the Doug Murray of Denmark (I can reasonably easily convince myself that Bergeheim is Scandinavian)

    carvinbass18
    Editor

    I can see it with just the last name, but his full name just instantly makes me think Irish or Scottish for some reason

    the german hammer
    Admin

    To me Bergenheim (Mountain home) would look German, not at all Irish. But, the Germanic peoples have been adopting all sorts of odd names lately like Dennis, Kevin, and probably Sean instead of Hans, Jens, and Heiko.

    MadScientist72
    Member
    MadScientist72

    Don’t forget that the Vikings built the Irish cities of Wexford, Limerick, Cork, & Dublin! And you can be reasonably sure that any red-haired Irish person you see has some Scandinavian ancestry.

    DrHandgrenaid
    Editor

    (ahem, I pointed out the Shipachyov thing 10 minutes ago)

    carvinbass18
    Editor

    Yes. I had started writing my comment at 7:15, when there was no comments, but then boss man walked by & i had to go do stuff & just finished the comment

    DrHandgrenaid
    Editor

    On Team Finland, I believe defenseman Mikko Lehtonen was a failed Bruins prospect, who along with Jeff Penner was the currency in acquiring Dobby 1.0

    DrHandgrenaid
    Editor

    Nevermind, there have been several hockey playing Mikko Lehtonens and the one I am thinking of was born in 1986. (there have been 3, per wikipedia, both 1978, 1986, and 1994)

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Use Hockeydb. All the hockey info at your fingertips

    DrHandgrenaid
    Editor

    I just saw the name and reacted. A cursory search righted my wrongness.

    Also, I find hockeydb a pretty difficult website to use. Their search/filter functions could use serious improvement

    The London Bear
    Member

    eliteprospects is an alternative but is also far from perfect

    carvinbass18
    Editor

    heh, I just went to fact check you because I was curious recognizing that name

    wpDiscuz