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Five Wings head to World Championship

Abdelkader, DeKeyser are among six Michigan natives on USA roster

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 11:41 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Five Wings head to World Championship

Tomas Tatar is among five Red Wings who will play in the World Championship in Belarus. He had a goal and an assist in four games at the Sochi Olympics. (Photo by Getty Images)
DETROIT – Now that they’re out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, five Red Wings have accepted invitations to represent their countries in the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.

Forward Justin Abdelkader and defenseman Danny DeKeyser – both Michigan natives – have been added to the U.S. national team that seeks to build on its bronze-medal finish from last year.

The 17-day tournament in Minsk, Belarus begins May 9.

Abdelkader and DeKeyser will be joined in Minsk by Red Wings teammates Jakub Kindl (Czech Republic), Tomas Tatar (Slovakia) and Gustav Nyquist (Sweden). Both Tatar and Nyquist played in the Sochi Olympics in February.

At least five other Red Wings were asked to play in the two-week tourney, but they declined offers for various reasons, including forward Tomas Jurco, who represented Slovakia at the Sochi Games, but the Red Wings decided to send him to Grand Rapids where he’ll help the Griffins defend their 2013 Calder Cup championship in the AHL playoffs.

The Griffins have a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five opening-round series against the Abbotsford Heat. Game 3 is tonight in Grand Rapids.

Team USA asked Wings goalie Jimmy Howard to join the roster but his wife is expecting the couple’s second child soon. The same went for defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who turned down Sweden because of the recent birth of his son Douglas. And Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who are overcoming injuries, will not play in Belarus.

In all, 22 players have been added to the U.S. roster, six from Michigan, including Phoenix forward Andy Miele (Grosse Pointe Woods), Edmonton defenseman Jeff Petry (Ann Arbor), Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba (Rochester), and Winnipeg goalie prospect Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce Township).

The 27-year-old Abdelkader is one of the older statesmen on the U.S. team. Only forward Colin McDonald (29), of the New York Islanders, is older than the Wings’ forward.

This will be Abdelkader’s third international tournament in seven years. He won a bronze medal at the 2007 World Junior Championship. He and Howard played together at the World Championship in 2012.

DeKeyser will make his international hockey debut.

Two groups of eight teams each will compete in a round-robin format among their group with the top four teams from each advancing to quarterfinals. NBC Sports Network will televise and stream all USA games beginning with the May 9 opener against the host team, Belarus, at 1:45 p.m. EDT.

The gold medal game is May 25, the same day that Red Wings legends Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom will be inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Minsk.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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