Predators forward Erat to play for Czechs at world hockey championship

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – Nashville Predators forward Martin Erat will play for the Czech Republic at the upcoming IIHF world hockey championship in Quebec City and Halifax.

The right-winger agreed to play for his country after the Predators were knocked out by the Detroit Red Wings in their NHL first-round playoff series. The Red Wings wrapped up the series with a Game 6 win last Sunday.

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Erat, who had 23 goals and 34 assists in the regular season and four points in the playoffs, is likely to join New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias on the Czech team’s top line, the Czech ice hockey federation said Wednesday.

The Czechs, who so far have 12 NHL players on the roster, play their first game on May 2 in Quebec City against Denmark.