| |Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk will join Team Canada for the 2010 World Championship in Germany Saturday, May 15, 2010. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
Better late than never seems to be the Oilers motto when it comes to the World Championships.
After spending 10 days practicing with Team Canada in Germany, alternate Jordan Eberle
was finally invited to take to the ice Friday vs. Norway. The tournament rookie made himself right at home on the European ice surface, posting a goal and three assists en-route to being named Canada's Player of the Game.
As Eberle was lighting it up in Mannheim, Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk
was preparing for an overnight flight to Frankfurt. The 24-year-old Alberta native was added to Canada's roster Friday morning and will join the team in Germany Saturday afternoon.
In between running last-minute errands and cancelling a planned vacation to Las Vegas, Dubnyk said that he's excited about the opportunity, even if he doesn't see any time in net.
"I had talked to (Oilers GM) Steve Tambellini and Scott Salmond from Hockey Canada about a week to 10 days ago, and they said I was on the radar but they were going to wait and see," he recalled. "I was just kind of watching and waiting for a phone call, but I finally got one and it's exciting to go. It will still be fun to get over there."
"Realistically, I don't think I'll dress a game. If it was earlier in the tournaments, it would have been nice to maybe get in there to play, but right now, I think more than anything I'm probably going over there more as insurance and for experience."
This isn't Dubnyk's first international tournament: He has two under-18 tournaments on his resume, as well as the 2006 World Juniors and the 2006 Spengler Cup.
Although he doesn't expect to play in this year's Worlds, Dubnyk is looking forward to being a part of the top hockey tournament in the world.
"I want just to enjoy the experience and get a little bit of a feel for the tournament, get a chance to meet some new players and get a chance to play with some great hockey players," he explained. "It's nice to be on the radar and get invited over there. It provides opportunity for years to come as well -- maybe get my feet wet and get a taste and hopefully have a chance to go to the tournament in years to come."
Oilers GM Steve Tambellini is confident that Dubnyk will make the most of the opportunity.
"Any time you get a chance to play on a World Championship team for Canada, it's an honour, it's special," he said. "You're around people that want to be there and it's important for the future in hockey, Hockey Canada also, to see the commitment from the young people when there are no guarantees for roster spots and the fact that they do want to be there."
regularly throughout the two-week tournament for updates on the Dubnyk, Eberle and the rest of the Oilers in Germany.