Martin Pospisil could be the only Calgary Flames representation at the World Championships

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
7 days ago
The Scotiabank Saddledome was the site for exit interviews for the Calgary Flames on Friday morning. The Flames players met with coaches and management to discuss the season, briefly chatted with the local media, and then headed off to their off-seasons.
Most players who met with the media asked “Hey, are you going to Worlds?” But coming out of Friday, only one Flames player was confirmed to be headed to the World Championships: Martin Pospisil, who’ll be suiting up for Slovakia.
In their chats with the media (or while chatting just after the press conferences), several players indicated that they weren’t going to Worlds. Among those were Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington, Jacob Markstrom, Nazem Kadri, MacKenzie Weegar and Blake Coleman.
Mikael Backlund declined to answer during his chat with the media, but all indications are he won’t be participating (per a report from Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg).
Andrew Mangiapane and Jonathan Huberdeau answered that they were mulling it over and expected to have their answers to Hockey Canada in the next few days. Teammate Connor Zary wasn’t asked about the Worlds, but it seems probable that he’s a guy that could be going – ala Matt Coronato a year ago – if some more established players decline due to injuries and other commitments.
So… that leaves Pospisil.
Pospisil has represented Slovakia on the international stage twice in recent memory – he played at the Under-18 Worlds and World Juniors previously – but he’s never had a chance to represent his country at the senior level. His older brother, Kristian, recently played for Slovakia in the Olympic qualifying tournament and the 2022 Beijing Olympics, along with a pair of recent World Championships.
Pospisil burst onto the scene for the Flames this season after having a few campaigns cut short due to some injury issues. However, he managed to stay healthy this season and played like a wrecking ball for the Flames, accumulating 24 points and 107 penalty minutes over 63 games as a rookie – he was also ejected three times and suspended once. Flames head coach Ryan Huska, in his end-of-season comments to the media, commended Pospisil for changing the dynamic with his physicality after his November call-up.
We’ll see which other players end up committing to the Worlds, but the Flames may just be sending Pospisil. Given the way he plays and how entertaining he has been for the NHL club this season, Slovakia’s tournament games may suddenly be worth seeking out for Flames fans.
The 2024 IIHF World Championships run May 10-26 in Prague and Ostrava, Czechia.
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