Two more Pittsburgh Penguins will get some extra hockey in this spring. Penguins goalie Matt Murray will play for Team Canada in the IIHF World Championships and Patric Hornqvist will play for Team Sweden. This year’s tournament is in Bratislava & Kosice, Slovakia from May 10-26.
Last week, Murray’s non-answer during locker clean out day to that question indicated he likely would wear the Canadian maple leaf but it was not official. Murray struggled in the first half of the NHL season but was one of the best goaltenders in the NHL over the final four months of the season. Since Dec. 15 when he returned from his injury and technique work, Murray posted a solid .930 save percentage and 2.34 goals against average.
TSN confirmed Murray will play for Team Canada. Philadelphia rookie Carter Hart will also join Team Canada.
Murray, 24, has not played previously played in international competition, though was the starting goaltender for Team North America in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey before suffering a broken hand.
Hornqvist, 31, admitted he was frustrated this season by his lack of goal scoring. Hornqvist went nearly three months between even strength goals beginning on Jan. 6. Hornqvist had 37 points (18g, 19a) this season, which was the first time in a full NHL season he failed to score 20 goals.
Hornqvist played in the 2007 World Junior Championships and the 2010 Olympics for Sweden. He scored one Olympic goal in four games.
Penguins winger Dominik Simon is an announced member of Team Czech Republic and Teddy Blueger will likely skate for Slovakia. Russia has extended an invitation to Evgeni Malkin.