With the regular season coming to an end for virtually every team on Saturday, with the exception of the two that still have a re-scheduled game to take place in Boston on Sunday night, teams are beginning to have their players called to represent their country in the IIHF World Championships.
The World Championships are set to take place next month. They’ll begin on May 3rd and carry on for a touch over two weeks. Top tier players from all over the league are being called if their team missed out on the postseason. We’ve already seen some big names announce that they will or will not be partaking in the festivities.
One player that will not be making the trip across the Atlantic to represent his country is Phoenix Coyotes star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Ekman-Larsson was a Norris Trophy candidate for much of the season, but appeared to fade a bit down the stretch, at least on the stat sheet.
Ekman-Larsson had to be helped off the ice in the Coyotes’ season finale on Saturday when he was injured blocking a shot. After the game, he downplayed the injury and said he was okay, but word came down on Sunday that he would not be joining Sweden for the World Championships.
Had he played, it would have been his third appearance for Sweden at Worlds. But there’s no doubt that his health going into next season is more important. It was definitely a season that tested Ekman-Larsson physically, with an increased role. It’s disappointing that he won’t be joining Team Sweden, but completely understandable at the same time.