PARIS, France - On the eve of its opening game of the 2017 IIHF World Championship, Team Canada has announced that Marc-Edouard Vlasic (Montreal/San Jose, NHL) was named an alternate captain for Team Canada in the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
Claude Giroux (Hearst, Ont./Philadelphia, NHL) will wear the 'C' for the team as it looks to defend its back-to-back gold medals.
Serving as the other alternate captains are Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL) and Ryan O'Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo, NHL) who were on the 2015 and 2016 gold medal-winning teams at worlds.
Vlasic has represented Canada on numerous occasions, including helping Canada win the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, and also won gold for his country at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Vlasic won a silver medal with Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland, and was also a member of Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.
Canada opens the 2017 IIHF World Championship against the Czech Republic on Friday, May 5, with preliminary-round games scheduled through Tuesday, May 16. The bronze- and gold-medal games will take place on Sunday, May 21.
"This team has bonded quickly, so the guys are having a lot of fun together, now it's time to turn it up a notch against the Czechs," said Cooper following the team's Thursday skate. "That's a tough one right out of the gate for us. We've had three of four practices and a game, not a lot of time to prepare, but we're looking forward to playing for real. The guys are excited."
When asked about the key to playing the Czechs following Thursday's skate, Giroux said: "They're a good team; they have a lot of skills, they have a big team. For us, it's about focusing on our game, our systems, and how we want to play as a team."
TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada's official broadcast partners, will carry 64 and 32 games respectively; schedules and network information can be found at TSN.ca and RDS.ca.
Team Canada has won gold at the last two IIHF World Championships, going undefeated during the 2015 tournament, and blanking Finland 2-0 in the gold-medal game in 2016.
Since 1931, Canada was won the world championship 20 times - not counting the years when Olympic Winter Games champions were also considered world champions. The country has also collected 11 silver medals and six bronze in that timespan.