MONTREAL—None of the Montreal Canadiens have received formal invitations to represent their respective countries at the upcoming World Championship, but several say they would happily accept the call.
Defenceman P.K. Subban told Sportsnet last week that if he was healthy, he’d be interested in representing Team Canada at the tournament, which will be held in St. Petersburg and Moscow May 6-22.
Subban has missed Montreal’s last nine games with a non-serious neck injury and is close to returning to action.
“Of course I’d like to go, if they asked me,” said Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher Tuesday.
Gallagher hasn’t represented Canada on the international stage since winning a bronze medal with the 2012 World Junior team, and he will likely have the chance to do so in May. There was even talk earlier this season—when he registered nine goals and 10 assists in his first 20 games—that Gallagher could be among the players named to the World Cup of Hockey team for this fall's tournament.
“Yeah, I heard about that,” said Gallagher. “If I were to get an opportunity to do that, it would obviously be a huge compliment to me. But I can’t control any of that.
“I just want to get back out on the ice and do my job and the rest will take care of itself.”
Gallagher has missed Montreal’s last 11 games with a lower body injury. On Wednesday, he’ll travel with the Canadiens with the hope of returning for road games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers later this week.
Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu, who recently returned from a knee injury that sidelined him for three weeks, said he’d also be honoured to play for Canada at the World Championship.
“I have to take care of some things as far as my health is concerned, no one is at 100 per cent at this time of year,” said Beaulieu. “But I’d love the chance to go over there.”
Forward Sven Andrighetto is part of a small contingent of Swiss-born players plying their trade in the NHL. He said Tuesday that the World Championship was far from his mind with six games remaining on the Canadiens’ schedule, but added that he’s always been happy to represent his country in international play.
Alex Galchenyuk, who has eight goals and three assists in 10 games since he was not among the first 16 players named to Team North America for the World Cup, has yet to put any thought into representing Team USA at the World Championship.
“Of course, to play in two great cities—with my Belarussian background—would be very special,” said Galchenyuk. “But I like to go day-by-day here, and we have games left on the schedule.”
Galchenyuk last represented the US at the 2013 World Championship, which was held in Sweden and Finland. He scored two goals in the shootout to help his team capture a bronze medal.
Forward Tomas Plekanec has a chance to participate in his eighth World Championship, if he accepts the invitation from Team Czech Republic. It would be defenceman Andrei Markov’s seventh and defenceman Alexei Emelin’s fifth for Russia, if they were to take the call.
Goaltender Carey Price, who’s missed 65 games with a lower body injury this season, has ruled himself out of the World Championship. He and wife Angela are expecting their first child to arrive April 29.
However, Price has already been named to Team Canada for the World Cup.
Captain Max Pacioretty, who was among the first 16 players named to Team USA for the World Cup, is doubtful to participate in the World Championship after missing all of last summer’s training with a fractured tibia.