The day after bowing out to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, a number of the Washington Capitals' marquee players accepted invitations to prolong their season and try to win an IIHF world championship.
On Sunday, Russian Hockey Federation President Vladislav Tretiak announced that Caps star forwards Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, both of whom played on the national team that won the 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Canada, will be joining a Russian team that posted a perfect 6-0-0 record following their 2-0 win Sunday over the Czech Republic. The two high-scoring forwards, who also played together on the Russian teams that won silver in 2010 and bronze in 2005, could add an embarrassment of riches to the Russian forward corp. The team's undefeated run has been spearheaded by Evgeni Malkin, who has run roughshod through the worlds, leading the tournament in points, goals, and plus/minus following the team's victory over the Czechs.
"We're doing all the documents, solving the issue of insurance and we expect them in Stockholm on the 16th for the quarterfinal," RHF Executive Director Valeri Fesyuk told the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. "Obviously these two players seriously strengthen our team."
The two Russian wingers won't be the only Capitals showcasing their skills at the World Championship. Swedish center Nicklas Backstrom is expected to arrive in Stockholm on Tuesday, in time to join his countrymen for their final game of the preliminary round against Latvia. Backstrom also has a world championship to his credit, having won gold at the 2006 tournament in Riga, Latvia when he was just 18 years old.
The day before announcing Backstrom's impending arrival, Sweden announced that winger Patric Hornqvist of the Nashville Predators would also be joining the team. Hornqvist previously represented Sweden at the 2010 Winter Olympics as well as the 2007 and 2008 world championships.