Team Canada has already been forced to make two changes to their World Cup roster due to injury, and another injury resulted in a third swap Friday.
The first move saw them replace injured winger Jamie Benn with Logan Couture, which was followed by defenseman Duncan Keith withdrawing to heal a knee injury and subsequently being replaced by Jay Bouwmeester. The third alteration to the roster will see center Jeff Carter out of the tournament in favor of winger Corey Perry.
The change comes after Carter, 31, suffered a lower-body injury, and Hockey Canada announced that Perry, 31, would take Carter’s spot only hours after news first surfaced of Carter’s injury. According to LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen, Carter suffered the injury while training and could be out “week-to-week,” which meant he would be forced to miss the training camp and possibly part of the tournament.
“I know Jeff wanted to play and represent Canada, and his decision to step aside as they continue to monitor his injury speaks to his character and willingness to put Team Canada’s success above all else; we look forward to seeing him back on the ice when the NHL season resumes,” said Canadian World Cup GM Doug Armstrong.
Losing Carter, who was a key contributor on the 2014 Olympic team, won’t be easy for the Canadian team. He’s a consistent scoring threat and has proven his ability on the Olympic stage with three goals and five points in six games. Luckily for Team Canada team, though, Perry is about as good an option as a team could have to replace him.
Perry had been passed over for a spot on the World Cup roster three times before being appointed in place of Carter — for the 16-man roster, the final selections and as a replacement for Jamie Benn — and it was bizarre to see a Canadian club assembled for a best-on-best tournament without Perry being a part of it. That was especially true given he had captained the Canadian World Championship team to a gold medal this past season. However, that was rectified with Perry getting the call Friday.
Perry is a decorated international performer and a member of the Triple Gold Club with a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold and World Championship gold to his name. He’s been productive on the international stage, too. In 13 Olympic contests, Perry has four goals and six points. He’s registered nine goals and 22 points in 25 World Championship games. He’s also contributed at the U17, U18 and U20 level.
“We’re fortunate and excited to welcome Corey Perry to the team,” Armstrong said. “He is coming off a gold-medal win with Team Canada at worlds, and his career accomplishments in the NHL and in international competition speak for themselves. He’ll be a great addition to the team.”
Over the past three seasons, only Joe Pavelski and Alex Ovechkin have scored more goals than Perry’s 110, and though there has been a slight decrease in Perry’s production over the past two campaigns, he’s still as consistent and natural a goal-scoring talent as there is in the NHL. His zero-goal, four-point post-season was disappointing, but, given the chance, he can surely pot a few goals at the World Cup.
Perry’s appointment to the team does mean a few interesting players were passed over, though. Chief among those is Taylor Hall who has scored 13 goals and 21 points in 20 games over the past two World Championships. Hall has never represented the national team on a stage as big as the World Cup, though, which may have played a part in Canada’s decision to go with the more-experienced Perry.
In addition, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn could have been among those to take Carter’s spot, especially given their production this past season for the Philadelphia Flyers. Simmonds is a consistent 30-goal threat and few players had a better second half than Schenn.
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