May 3, 2013
NHL notes: Canada set to open world championship against Denmark
By QMI Agency

Switzerland's goalie Martin Gerber (R) and Patrick von Gunten react after conceding a goal to Sweden during their 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship preliminary round. Canada is getting set to kick things off at the worlds in Sweden. (REUTERS)

Team Canada begins its quest for gold at the world hockey championship Saturday in Sweden.

Canada, grouped with Belarus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland for the preliminary round, will take on the 12th-ranked Danes at Stockholm's Globe Arena. The other pool, which features Russia and the U.S., will play its preliminary-round games in Helsinki, Finland.

Canadian coach Lindy Ruff returns behind the bench for the first time since being fired as head coach by the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 20. Ruff guided Canada to a silver medal in the 2009 world championship.

Carolina Hurricanes centre Eric Staal will captain the team, which also includes fellow NHL stars Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.

After opening against Denmark, Canada will play Switzerland Sunday.

SABRES TO DECIDE ON COACH SOON


Interim head coach Ron Rolston's future with the Buffalo Sabres will be decided soon.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier, in Rochester Friday while players with Buffalo's AHL affiliate cleaned out their lockers following an early playoff exit, said there was no decision yet.

"Fairly soon (a decision will be made) in the case of the head coach in Buffalo, and then Rochester will follow," Regier told the Buffalo News. "Those are conversations we're going to have."

Rolston went 15-11-5 after taking over for Lindy Ruff on Feb. 20. The Sabres finished the season 21-21-6 and wound up 12th in the Eastern Conference.

Regier is also interested in moving up from eighth in the draft order.

"I have talked to the teams that are in front of us, or most of them, and if we're in a position to move up it's something that we would entertain doing, but we also feel this is a deep draft," he said.

PREDS INK DRAFT PICK

The Nashville Predators signed Marek Mazanec, last year's sixth-round draft pick, to a two-year, entry-level contract.

Mazanec, a 21-year-old goaltender, led Plzen to its first Czech League title this season. He ranked sixth in the Czech Extraliga with a 2.49 goals-against average.

Mazenec was the 179th overall pick in the 2012 draft.

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