Five Ottawa Senators ready to take on the world

By Matthew Kirkpatrick

The Ottawa Senators may be out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that won’t keep five of their players from vying for a championship,

Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson, Milan Michalek, Kaspars Daugavins, and Stéphane Da Costa will all suit up for their respective countries in this years IIHF World Championship.

Alfredsson decided to take one more kick at the can as he has never won a World Championship, and the tournament is being held in Stockholm where he says his career really took off while playing for Sweden back in 1995.

He scored some big goals for his country in that tournament and helped lead them to the finals where they eventually lost the gold medal to Finland.

After the 1995 tournament Alfredsson signed with the Senators, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Alfredsson has said that his decision to take part in the tournament has nothing to do with whether he returns to play another season in Ottawa.

Erik Karlsson will join his captain coming off a tremendous regular season with Ottawa that saw him rack up 78 points, and a Norris Trophy nomination.

Karlsson faded late however, and was not a big factor in the Senators first round playoff loss to the New York Rangers.

Look for him to have a strong tournament playing on the big ice, and against non-NHL players should play right into his strong suits. I would be surprised if Karlsson was not named to the all tournament team when all is said and done.

Milan Michalek will don a Czech Republic jersey once again after a strong campaign in the NHL that saw him score a career high 35 goals, but Michalek will not be afforded the luxury of playing with pivot Jason Spezza like in Ottawa.

The Czechs will ice a team that includes Boston Bruin David Krejci and Montreal Canadiens centre Tomas Plekanec who are definately no slouches. I would expect Michalek to skate on a line with one of the two, and become a big part of his teams successes, or failures.

Fourth liner Kaspars Daugavins will bring his defensive minded game to the rabid-drum-beating-lunatics that cheer for his home country of Latvia.

Da Costa will join France’s squad after spending most of the season playing for the Senators farm team in Binghamton. Da Costa is the only player on their roster who actually played in the NHL this year.

The IIHF Mens World Championship tournament will kick off Friday May 4, and culminate with the Gold Medal match to be played in Helsinki Finland on May 20.





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