The Russians went heavy on forward for their initial World Cup of Hockey roster, naming only three defenseman. So that left a few spots up front available and a bevy on the back end.
Here’s who Russia will be bringing to Toronto in September:
(Ed. note: Bolded names are final additions.)
G Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
G Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche
G Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
D Alexei Emelin, Montreal Canadiens *
D Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers
D Alexey Marchenko, Detroit Red Wings *
D Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens
D Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals
D Slava Voynov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) *
D Nikita Zaitsev, Toronto Maple Leafs *
F Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks
F Evgenii Dadonov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) *
F Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
F Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
F Nikolay Kulemin, New York Islanders
F Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals
F Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
F Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning
F Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
F Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks
F Vadim Shipachev, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) *
F Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
F Ivan Telegin, CSKA Moscow (KHL) *
• You may have scanned the forward group twice looking for a pair of specific names, but you’re not going to find them. Yes, The Russians are leaving both Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Radulov home. Did Kovalchuk’s behavior during the Gagarin Cup playoffs and Radulov’s desire to return to the NHL play a part in them being left off?
• The interesting name that is on Russia’s roster is Slava Voynov, the former Los Angeles Kings defenseman who returned home last September after a nearly yearlong suspension by the NHL for domestic violence. Here’s where it gets interesting. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com's Scott Burnside, "We will obviously have to review his status with the Players' Association prior to the start of the tournament in September. It is not my current expectation that this player will be deemed eligible to play in the World Cup of Hockey."
Remember, this is an NHL co-sponsored event, not IIHF, so if the league wants to take umbrage with this choice, they can.
Told that NHLPA and NHL are jointly "reviewing" the matter of Voynov's eligibility to play in World Cup.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) May 27, 2016
Previously released final rosters:
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