In light of all the Wayne Gretzky excitment we missed this. Sorry it's late.
Yesterday, it was learned that Brandon Dubinsky and Matt Gilroy were on the Team USA roster and Artem Anisimov was on Russia’s preliminary roster.
No word yet on whether Messier will also select Staal’s frequent defense partner, Dan Girardi, to the team. At Tuesday’s breakup day Girardi joked that he was probably way down on the depth chart in terms of being named to the team.
There was speculation about this ever since the Rangers got knocked out of the playoffs by the Philadelphia Flyers. I honestly have no problems with the moves, especially since there is obviously no more NHL hockey in their futures this season. And since none of them have an injury factors I don't see it being a risk there either.
This will be a nice chance to let Staal strut his stuff for Canada, and probably play along side his brother Eric Staal, since Jordan Staal is in the playoffs with Pittsburgh.
I also believe that this will give guys like Gilroy and Anisimov some "semi-big game" experience. Plus Gilroy missed a few weeks at the end of the regular season so this would be a nice way for him to get his final shifts in, before a long competitiveness few months of practicing.
There was some speculation that perennial superstar Marian Gaborik might also have some interest in playing for Slovokia, but there has been no word of that since. Not so sure I want Gaborik playing in the championships, but I'll make my call on that once he's made a final decision.