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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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80