OTTAWA -- As the Flyers begin to pack their bags Sunday to scatter around the world for what will be a long summer, a few will need to keep their skates sharp.
Five Flyers players have committed to represent their countries in the upcoming World Championships in Finland and Sweden. The tournament runs May 3-19 - with the puck dropping in just a matter of four days.
Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read and Luke Schenn have all said “yes” to an invitation from Team Canada general manager Steve Yzerman. Only Schenn (2009 silver medal in Switzerland) has participated in the tournament before; Giroux and Read both won a world junior gold medal as teammates in 2008. Read has never worn a Team Canada sweater.
Defenseman Oliver Lauridsen, a real bright spot over the final weeks of the season, confirmed Saturday he will play for Denmark.
Phantoms goaltender Cal Heeter was surprisingly among the first 15 names added to Team USA’s roster. Heeter, a St. Louis native, will team up with Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop, before the United States looks to add a third goalie for the tournament.
Jake Voracek (Czech Republic), Erik Gustafsson (Sweden), and Ilya Bryzgalov (Russia) also figure to be in the mix for their respective national teams.
Some tournament games will be available on television. Complete listings aren’t yet available.
This is the final international hockey tune-up prior to next February's Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers