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149 AHL alumni set to play in World Championships

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … While the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs march on, hockey’s annual IIHF World Championships are being held in Quebec City and Halifax. The preliminary rosters for the tournament, which begins Friday, feature 149 American Hockey League graduates representing their countries and competing for medals.

All 16 participating countries have at least one AHL alumnus on board, and the list includes 28 former American Hockey League All-Stars, among them 2005 AHL MVP Jason Spezza (Canada), Martin St. Louis (Canada), Eric Staal (Canada), Patrik Elias (Czech Republic), Dmitri Kalinin (Russia), Karri Ramo (Finland), Mikko Koivu (Finland), Zach Parise (USA) and Drew Stafford (USA).

Twenty-one participants played in the American Hockey League during the 2007-08 season, including Hershey’s Sami Lepisto (Finland), Bridgeport’s Frans Nielsen (Denmark), Houston’s Morten Madsen (Denmark), Iowa’s Marius Holtet (Norway), Providence’s David Krejci (Czech Republic), Rochester’s Andrej Sekera (Slovakia), Toronto’s Anton Stralman (Sweden), Manchester’s Erik Ersberg (Sweden), and Milwaukee’s Janne Niskala and Antti Pihlstrom (Finland).

Also competing in the World Championships are former Calder Cup champions such as Tomas Fleischmann (Czech Republic), Mike Green (Canada), Patrick Sharp (Canada), Milan Hnilicka (Czech Republic), Dennis Seidenberg (Germany) and Rickard Wallin (Sweden).

AHL experience can be found behind the bench as well, where 1996 Calder Cup champion John Tortorella is serving as the United States’ head coach, assisted by former Providence Bruins coach Mike Sullivan and current Lowell Devils head coach Kurt Kleinendorst. Glen Hanlon (asst. coach, Belarus), Pat Burns (asst. coach, Canada), Doug Shedden (head coach, Finland) are all former AHL head coaches as well.

Other notable AHL alumni at the 2008 World Championships include Ryan Getzlaf (Canada), Cam Ward (Canada), Olli Jokinen (Finland), Cristobal Huet (France), Maxim Afinogenov (Russia), Martin Gerber (Switzerland), Jason Pominville (USA) and Tim Thomas (USA).

AHL Alumni on World Championship Rosters (as of 5/1/08):

Belarus (2)
Konstantin Koltsov, F
Alexander Zhurik, D

Canada (21)
*Jay Bouwmeester, D
Brent Burns, D
Jason Chimera, F
Shane Doan, F
Cory Emmerton, F
*Mathieu Garon, G
Ryan Getzlaf, F
Mark Giordano, D
Mike Green, D
Dan Hamhuis, D
Duncan Keith, D
*Chris Kunitz, F
Pascal Leclaire, G
Jamal Mayers, F
Derek Roy, F
*Martin St. Louis, F
*Patrick Sharp, F
*Jason Spezza, F
*Eric Staal, F
Steve Staios, D
Cam Ward, G

Czech Republic (15)
*Patrik Elias, F
*Tomas Fleischmann, F
Jan Hejda, D
Milan Hnilicka, G
Tomas Kaberle, D
Jakub Klepis, F
*Ladislav Kohn, F
Ales Kotalik, F
David Krejci, F
Filip Kuba, D
Zbynek Michalek, D
Jiri Novotny, F
Karel Rachunek, D
Ladislav Smid, D
Radim Vrbata, F

Denmark (3)
Morten Madsen, F
Frans Nielsen, F
Kim Staal, F

Finland (17)
*Sean Bergenheim, F
Riku Hahl, F
Hannes Hyvonen, F
Jarkko Immonen, F
Mikko Jokela, D
Olli Jokinen, F
Niko Kapanen, F
*Ville Koistinen, D
*Mikko Koivu, F
Sami Lepisto, D
Mikko Luoma, D
Antti-Jussi Niemi, D
Janne Niskala, D
Ville Peltonen, F
Antti Pihlstrom, F
Esa Pirnes, F
*†Karri Ramo, G

France (4)
Sebastien Bordeleau, F
Eddy Ferhi, G
Cristobal Huet, G
Yorick Treille, F

Germany (8)
Michael Hackert, F
*Jason Holland, D
Dimitri Patzold, G
Chris Schmidt, D
Christoph Schubert, D
Dennis Seidenberg, D
*John Tripp, F
Stefan Ustorf, F

Italy (3)
Mario Chitarroni, F
Jason Cirone, F
John Parco, F

Latvia (7)
Jekabs Redlihs, D
Krisjanis Redlihs, D
Arvid Rekis, D
Agris Saviels, D
Janis Sprukts, F
Juris Stals, F
*Herbert Vasiljevs, F

Norway (2)
Marius Holtet, F
Anders Myrvold, D

Russia (8)
Maxim Afinogenov, F
*Denis Grebeshkov, D
Fedor Fedorov, F
*Dmitri Kalinin, D
*Danny Markov, D
Alexander Radulov, F
Alexander Semin, F
Sergei Zinovjev, F

Slovakia (14)
Ivan Ciernik, F
Peter Fabus, F
Marcel Hossa, F
Juraj Kolnik, F
Jan Lasak, G
Branislav Mezei, D
Robert Petrovicky, F
Peter Podhradsky, D
Andrei Podkonicky, F
Andrej Sekera, D
Frantisek Skladany, F
Radovan Somik, F
Martin Strbak, D
Rene Vydareny, D

Slovenia (1)
Tomaz Razingar, F

Sweden (17)
Johan Andersson, F
Alex Edler, D
Nils Ekman, F
Erik Ersberg, G
Daniel Fernholm, D
*Mikael Holmqvist, F
Kenny Jonsson, D
Sanny Lindstrom, D
Stefan Liv, G
Tony Martensson, F
Marcus Nilson, F
Robert Nilsson, F
Anton Stralman, D
Mikael Tellqvist, G
Rickard Wallin, F
Mattias Weinhandl, F
Daniel Widing, F

Switzerland (7)
Goran Bezina, D
Paul DiPietro, F
Martin Gerber, G
Jonas Hiller, G
Raffaele Sannitz, F
*Julien Vauclair, D
Thomas Ziegler, F

United States (20)
Craig Anderson, G
David Backes, F
*Keith Ballard, D
David Booth, F
*Dustin Brown, F
Adam Burish, F
*Robert Esche, G
Tom Gilbert, D
Tim Gleason, D
Jeff Halpern, F
Matt Greene, D
Phil Kessel, F
*Patrick O’Sullivan, F
*Zach Parise, F
Jason Pominville, F
*Drew Stafford, F
Lee Stempniak, F
Mark Stuart, D
Tim Thomas, G
James Wisniewski, D

*indicates former AHL All-Star
†indicates player played in the AHL in 2007-08