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Czech Republic faces another Hertl; More Roster Updates As Camps Open Monday Around the World

Team Czech Republic

On Friday, center David Krejci was removed from the roster.  Krejci had surgery on his left hip back in April.  He will sit out to continue to rehabilitate.  Roman Cervenka will take his place.  Cervenka will play this upcoming season with HC Fribourg-Gottéron of the Swiss National League A.  He is your proto-typical pivot – he back-checks well and is a solid playmaker.  The 30-year old also served as alternate captain for Team CR back in May in the IIHF Worlds where he racked up two goals and five assists in eight games played.  Cervenka had one stint with the NHL playing for the Calgary Flames in the shortened 2013 season where he posted 17 points in 39 contests before returning to the KHL.  Cervenka has plenty of international and championship experience, having won gold and bronze at World Championships, the Czech Extraliga Championship, and the KHL’s Gagarin Cup.  But as history shows, Cervenka fares much better in Europe than he does playing in North America against NHL talent.  Perhaps the size of his statistical pool is not big enough to make a final determination.

On Saturday, it was announced by the Czech Ice Hockey Association that Sharks’ forward Tomas Hertl and Flyers’ defenseman Radko Gudas were taken off the roster as well.  Similar to Krejci, Hertl is still not fully recovered from a lower-body injury suffered last season.  The young forward missed the last four games of the Stanley Cup Finals after injuring his right knee in a collision with Penguins’ Patric Hornqvist.  While Hertl did not require surgery, he spent all summer rehabilitating his knee.  I’m no doctor, but this is an awfully long time for a knee injury to heal.  Something tells me the Sharks’ organization is pulling someone’s strings and holding back the young forward from the tournament.  If he’s not ready for the WCH in less than two weeks, will he be ready for training camps to open in the NHL?  If I were a betting man, I’d say he’ll be in San Jose for day one of camp.

Unlike Krejci and Hertl, Gudas’ injury is fresher.  As per Flyers’ GM Ron Hextall’s statement on the Flyers’ website, Radko Gudas sustained an upper-body injury while training in the offseason and will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.  Team CR will certainly miss Gudas, a heavy-hitter on the backend.

Apparently, as per Roman Jedlicka via Twitter, Jiri Hudler was called upon by Czech GM Martin Rucinsky, but to no avail.  After being originally snubbed from the roster, Hudler’s agent confirmed that he has no interest in representing his home country in the WCH.

Forward Michal Birner of Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) and defenseman Tomas Kundratek of HC Slovan Bratislava (KHL) has been added to the 23-man roster as Team Czech Republic sets to open its camp Monday.  Birner, age 30, is a solid two-way winger and is reliable in all situations.  Kundratek was originally drafted in 2008 by the New York Rangers but was traded in 2011 to the Washington Capitals where he spent most of his time in North America with the Hershey Bears, their AHL affiliate.  In June of 2015, he opted to play in the KHL.  Kundratek is 6’2”, 200-lbs., and is a solid two-way defenseman.  It is imperative for him to use his size to play a more physical game going up against NHL talent in the World Cup.

Jaromir?  Are you there?  Have you reconsidered your decision regarding the World Cup?  Your country really needs you…

Team Canada

Any ‘90s kid will confirm that “Ducks Fly Together.”  While the Ducks played for Team USA in the theaters, for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, the everlasting catchphrase applies to Team Canada.  On Friday, announced Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings suffered a lower-body injury while training and is considered “week-to-week.”  He has withdrawn from the tournament.  A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that Corey Perry had surprisingly missed the cut for Team Canada.  Well, Friday it was also announced that Corey Perry will replace Carter in the lineup.  The 31-year old will join his fellow Anaheim teammate Ryan Getzlaf.  Last season, the two line mates combined for 125 points.  I would expect to see Coach Babcock keeping the two on the same line given their familiarity with each other.

Team North America

Sean Monahan will have to miss playing with his 23-year old and younger peers this month.  As per, Monahan has suffered a back injury while preparing for the World Cup and upcoming NHL season.  The 6’3”, 21-year old pivot repeated his impressive sophomore season (62 points) with the Flames in his third season (63 points).  His replacement will be Vincent Trocheck of the Florida Panthers.  At 5’10”, Trocheck has some big shoes to fill.  He had an impressive first full season with the Panthers notching 53 points in 76 games.  But, the Pittsburgh, PA-native brings to the table good hockey sense and above average playmaking ability, especially for someone his age.

Green Day to Perform During WCH Festivities

Friday it was also announced that the “Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village” will take place September 16-25 in Toronto’s Historic Downtown Distillery District.  The festival will celebrate not only the great game of hockey, but culture from all participating hockey countries.

On September 23, California-punks Green Day will perform at a special event to celebrate the 2016 Canadian Olympians who competed at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.  Green Day was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.  Their new hit single, “Bang Bang”, has already received a lot of chart and radio success in anticipation of the band’s newest album “Revolution Rock”, to be released October 7.

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Evan is the Hockey Editor for He provides coverage of the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and Philadelphia Flyers, as well as some league-wide content.

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