Penguins winger James Neal has been added to Team Canada’s roster for the 2011 IIHF World Hockey Championships, taking place April 29 to May 15 in Kosice, Slovakia.
“I’m excited,” Neal said. “Any time you can play for your country it’s an exciting experience. I’m looking forward to getting over there and having some fun and keep the season going. To keep playing is good.”
Neal left Friday afternoon for Europe to join his Team Canada teammates in Slovakia. He’s using the international competition as a way to keep himself on the ice.
“It’s a chance to keep going, keep playing, keep competing,” Neal said.
International competition is not new to Neal. He won a gold medal with Canada in the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden, and represented his country in the 2005 U-18 World Juniors and ’09 World Championships.
“It’s another chance to put on the Team Canada jersey,” Neal said. “To represent your country is an exciting experience. Any time you’re chosen for Team Canada you want to be a part of it.