On Tuesday, three Kings were named to Team USA for the upcoming World Championships in Switzerland from April 24-May 10, 2009.
LAKings.com caught up with forward/defenseman Peter Harrold, team Captain Dustin Brown and defenseman Jack Johnson just after Team USA's announcement.
LAKings.com: What are you feeling right now having been selected to play for Team USA for the first time at the upcoming World Championships?
Peter Harrold: "I think it is awesome. I didn't really think it was an option for me, but I got the call and was asked, 'Do you want to play for your country?' and it was a no-brainer. It should be a great experience."
LAKings.com: Who called you and when?
Peter Harrold: "It was Sunday. Dean Lombardi called me. I knew right away that I wanted to participate. He said, 'OK, they want you to join the team.' It was a great feeling. Then Jim Johannsson with USA Hockey called me and I got more specifics. He said he was excited to have me and the feeling was mutual."
LAKings.com: Dustin Brown and Jack Johnson are going with you. Do you know any of the other guys, and how does the fact two Kings teammates being there help you assimilate?
Peter Harrold: "Obviously it helps. Patrick O'Sullivan will also be there, and I skated last summer with Kyle Okposo. You get to know guys a little bit when you play against them and over the course of the summers. It definitely helps to have them there and it should help me with the transition."
LAKings.com: How do you balance being excited to participate in the World Championships but not being in the NHL playoffs here with the Kings?
Dustin Brown: "It is one of the unique things about playing in the World Championships. Ultiamtley you are out of the playoffs, which is not where you want to be, but this is a tournament where you get a chance to represent your country. That is an opportunity you might not get very often."
LAKings.com: Peter Harrold will wear the USA sweater for the first time. How excited are you about that?
Dustin Brown: "It is always fun to have teammates from your regular season going to play in a tournament like this. It is a different tournament but it is a fun tournament. My first World Championships were in the Czech Republic and we won a bronze medal. It is always a fun experience."
LAKings.com: Will your wife and kids go to Switzerland?
Dustin Brown: "I will be there three-and-a-half weeks. My kids won't go. The youngest is only seven, eight weeks old, and it is too long of a flight for him. We are looking at my wife coming over for a week. It just depends."
LAKings.com: What do you expect as your prepare to go to Switzerland?
Jack Johnson: "It should be a fun time. It will probably be a little more intense as it is an Olympic year. It is always fun to wear the USA sweater again and I am looking forward to it."
LAKings.com: How much do you think playing in this tourney can increase your chances of playing in Vancouver in 2010 for the Winter Olympics?
Jack Johnson: "You hope it helps your chances. Playing in the Olympics is a goal for any athlete. I would take that as the ultimate honor. Right now though I am trying to win at the World Championships."
LAKings.com: How does USA Hockey compare to other hockey powers around the world?
Jack Johnson: "I think we are right there. We are right there with powerhouses like Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic. We are all right there and the U.S. goes into every tournament thinking we can win and expecting to win."
Compiled by Jeff Moeller | Special to LAKings.com