The IIHF World Championships starts in less than a month in Russia. As is tradition, Leaf players were asked on their last day of media availability also known as locker clean out day, if they were going to play this year.
This year's roster is complicated by the existence of the World Cup of Hockey, an NHL event that will be held in Toronto in August, cutting the offseason shorter at that other end. It will not be a surprise if players who know now they will be on that roster will turn down the Worlds in May.
Two Leafs were named to the World Cup roster, Leo Komarov for Team Finland and Morgan Rielly for Team North America.
Today Komarov confirmed he wants to do both. There is no official word yet, but his appearance in the last game of the season went a long way towards showing he's healthy enough to play.
Leo Komarov says he's healthy enough to go to worlds, has not heard from Finland yet. Will be in Russia regardless. #Leafs— Dhiren Mahiban (@dcmahiban) 10 April 2016
Rielly is not saying for sure:
Morgan Rielly has been invited by Hockey Canada to go to worlds. Hasn't made a final decision yet— Dhiren Mahiban (@dcmahiban) 10 April 2016
For the USA team, James van Riemsdyk has said he is not ready to play, and Jake Gardiner was not invited.
There's no other word on possible Leafs for team Canada, but Nazem Kadri expressed an interest in playing. Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly and Taylor Hall have been confirmed as going, so we are at the stage where Hockey Canada has asked the players on their first-choices list.
In other news from the players, Peter Holland said he had suffered a setback in his concussion recovery in a full-contact practice, and we all hope he recovers fully this off-season.