BRATISLAVA – Star NHL forward Marian Gaborik will be travelling to Bratislava to join up with the Slovak squad for the 75th IIHF World Championship starting on Friday.
Gaborik had 48 points in 62 games with the New York Rangers this past season. He will join fellow NHLers Pavol Demitra and Jaroslav Halak, who recently played in Slovakia’s final exhibition game, a 6-1 victory over Belarus before 9,300 fans in Bratislava’s new Orange Arena. Demitra had a goal and two assists, while Halak had only to make 12 saves in the game.
Slovakia is also waiting for Lubomir Visnovsky (Anaheim) and Michal Handzus (Los Angeles) to decide whether to join the squad after their teams, like the Rangers, were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs.
Slovakia plays its first game on Friday evening in Bratislava against Slovenia.
Slovakia’s preliminary roster:
Jaroslav Halak (St. Louis Blues/NHL)
Jan Lasak (Jokerit Helsinki/FIN)
Peter Hamerlik (HC Ocelari Trinec/CZE)
Ivan Baranka (Spartak Moscow/RUS)
Dominik Granak (Dynamo Moscow/RUS)
Milan Jurcina (New York Islanders/NHL)
Ivan Majesky (Skelleftea/SWE)
Peter Podhradsky (Dynamo Minsk/RUS)
Michal Sersen (Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg/RUS)
Richard Stehlik (Kometa Brno/CZE)
Martin Strbak (Dynamo Moscow/RUS)
Lubos Bartecko (MODO Örnsköldsvik/SWE)
Milan Bartovic (Bili Tygri Liberec/CZE)
Martin Cibak (Severstal Cherepovets/RUS)
Pavol Demitra (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl/RUS)
Marian Gaborik (New York Rangers/NHL)
Marcel Hossa (Ak Bars Kazan/RUS)
Tomas Marcinko (Bridgeport Sound Tigers/AHL)
Ladislav Nagy (MODO Örnsköldsvik/SWE)
Branko Radivojevic (Spartak Moscow/RUS)
Stefan Ruzicka (Spartak Moscow/RUS)
Miroslav Satan (Dynamo Moscow/RUS)
Jozef Stumpel (Dynamo Minsk/RUS)
Tomas Surovy (Dinamo Riga/LAT)
Richard Zednik (AIK Stockholm/SWE)