Toronto - The World Hockey Championships, set for May 2-18 in Halifax and Quebec City, will showcase two Maple Leaf defencemen.
Swedish defencemen Anton Stralman
, who demonstrated his abilities at the Worlds in Moscow last year and Czech rearguard Tomas Kaberle
will compete in the event.
No Leaf has been added to the roster of defending champion Team Canada although there remains the slimmest possibility that under the right circumstances, centre Matt Stajan
might be asked. The list of the initial 15 players for Canada was released Tuesday.
“The door isn’t completely closed,” Team Canada General Manager Steve Yzerman told reporters. “It’s a bit of a juggling act.”
The smooth-skating Kaberle was third in scoring for the Leafs this season with eight goals and 53 points. A two-time Olympian, the 30-year-old was only one of three Leafs to play all 82 games.
He will not be joined by Czech teammate Pavel Kubina
who has been slowed by a persistent chest infection.
Stralman, meanwhile, adds to a resume that already includes World Junior appearances and now, two World Championships. Last year in Russia he was voted one of the top three players at the tournament.
The 21-year-old scored three goals and added six assists for the Maple Leafs this season.