Los Angeles Kings At The World’s Championships


Every year after the NHL regular season ends the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) hosts hockey’s World Championships, also known as the “Worlds”.

It’s an annual event that National teams from all over the world take a part in.  It’s similar to the Olympics, but it’s every season.

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For 2015 the IIHF World Championships will start on May 1st.

Players from leagues around the world can participate, playing for their native country.  Many NHL players who’s NHL teams are not in the playoffs, and who want to keep playing hockey typically represent their country at the Worlds.

According to Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times at least three Kings will be participating:

Los Angeles Kings players Tyler Toffoli, Jake Muzzin, Martin Jones will join Team Canada, along with 19 other players named to the squad.

Trevor Lewis is slated to join Team USA.  Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has signed on in an advisory role to the management group of Team USA.

It was recently announced that Kings All-Star Anze Kopitar will join and lead Team Slovenia.  Kopitar is Slovenia’s only NHL player, and helped Team Slovenia reach the Quarter-Finals in the Medal round at the Olympics in 2014.

Since 2011 Team Slovenia’s head coach has had special access to Anze Kopitar, and helped to persuade him to join the 2015 roster at the Worlds in the Czech Republic.  That coach is Matjaz Kopitar, Anze’s father.

“It’s kind of hard to say no to your day,” Anze told reporters in Los Angeles.

It hasn’t been announced yet, but expect Anze’s brother Gasper to join the team under the same pretense.  Gasper Kopitar currently plays for the Los Angeles Kings ECHL affiliate the Ontario Reign.  In 41 regular season games this year Gasper put up 11 goals and 25 points.  Currently the Reign are up 2-1 over the Colorado Eagles in the ECHL playoffs.

The bad news for Anze?  Star teammate Marian Gaborik will join Slovenia’s rival, Team Slovakia, at the Worlds.  The two Kings linemates will get to face-off against one another, as Slovenia and Slovakia are slated to be in the same Group when the World Championships start in May.

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May 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Ben Smith (center) fights for the puck with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (left) and center Tyler Toffoli (right) during the second period of game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports