Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa will be representing Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey later this year. The official roster for Team Europe was announced Friday evening and includes star players such as Hossa, Anze Kopitar and Roman Josi.
Hossa, 37, will be one of the oldest players participating in the tournament, which is set for September and signals the addition of another major even to the international hockey calendar. Eight teams are participating, and as we've already seen, many of them will include members of the Blackhawks.
A native of Slovakia, Hossa has long played for its national team on the international circuit. He played appeared for Team Slovakia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, where he tallied three points in four games before his team was eliminated. However, the World Cup will only feature six national teams and two "All-Star" teams -- one featuring European players and one featuring North American young guns -- so Hossa is joining Team Europe.
Given his age, you have to wonder whether the Hawks are a tad frustrated with this. Hossa probably could use the extra rest as much as anyone being named to a World Cup roster, even after Chicago's early elimination from the playoffs. If he wants to play, he has the right to do that, but if he's looking gassed by the end of the 2016-17 season, don't be surprised if someone brings up those meaningless extra games he played while representing an entire continent. I'll have more thoughts on this later, but Hossa's participation in this tournament seems unnecessary.