‘It’s always an honour to play for your country,’ Senators centre Kyle Turris says.OTTAWA — Ottawa Senators centre Kyle Turris says he has always welcomed the opportunity to explore the globe through hockey.
After mixing slapshots with sightseeing in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Finland at previous points, he stands a decent shot at doing the same at Minsk, Belarus, in May.
While Turris insists his current focus is on helping the Senators have a strong finish to what has been a disappointing National Hockey League season for the team, he says he would jump at the chance to represent Canada in the world championships.
Earlier this week, former Los Angeles Kings star defenceman Rob Blake was named general manager for Canada’s team in the world championship. Blake’s roster will include players from NHL teams not participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“We’ll wait until the season plays out and then we’ll see what happens,” Turris said before Friday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. “If I’m considered for it, it’s always an honour to play for your country.”
The last time Turris represented Canada was in the 2008 world junior championships in the Czech Republic, where Canada captured gold. He has also worn the Canadian red-and-white as a junior during the Super Series and against Russia in under-18 competition.
During the NHL’s 2012 lockout, he played in Finland.
“Any time you have the opportunity, it’s real special,” Turris said.
Turris, who went into the Senators’ game on Friday night with 22 goals and 29 assists, said the only goal for any hockey player representing Canada was gold.
“When you’re playing for Team Canada, you only have one expectation and that’s to win,” he said. “When you don’t, it’s tough.”
Senators winger Clarke MacArthur, who has scored a career-high 22 goals as a linemate for Turris, could also receive consideration for Canada’s roster. MacArthur was part of Canada’s 2005 world junior championship roster, generally regarded as the best team ever assembled for that competition.
Blake may also likely take a look at Senators defenceman Marc Methot, who played in the 2012 world championship.
Ryan’s surgery successful, GM says
In a radio interview with TSN 1200, Senators general manager Bryan Murray said winger Bobby Ryan’s sports hernia surgery Thursday went according to plan. “Hopefully, as the season ends, he will be at full activity for being able to work out for the summer.”
Murray also said part of his own summer agenda would be trying to sign Ryan to a long-term contract. Ryan has only one year remaining on his current deal.
Because of the rules of the collective agreement between the NHL and the players’ association, Murray must wait until July 1 to talk to Ryan’s agents about an extension.
“We would certainly like to keep Bobby here, and a couple of other guys,” Murray told TSN 1200. “I think he’s going to be happy to talk to us. We certainly plan to try to keep him. We hope to get something done with Bobby so he will have a long career in Ottawa.”
Murray said he would also talk to agents for pending unrestricted free agent Ales Hemsky, the winger who was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers at the trade deadline.
The Senators GM also said he shared the fans’ disappointment after the team took a major step back this season — Murray said he expected the team to advance further in the playoffs, rather than not even qualify for post-season play — but he remained committed to coach Paul MacLean.
“I think he’s a good coach and he has the ear of the (dressing) room,” Murray said.
However, Murray said, the performance of certain players in the final 10 games of the season could determine their future with the Senators.
PHILLIPS OUT AGAIN
While defenceman Chris Phillips took part in Thursday’s practice and said he felt good, he didn’t play Friday against Chicago.
Phillips last saw action Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he left that game after crashing into the boards following a collision with Tampa’s Ryan Malone.
With Phillips out, Patrick Wiercioch played his second consecutive game after being a healthy scratch for the previous eight.
Goaltender Nathan Lawson, who had been recovering in Ottawa since being injured against the New York Rangers on March 18, was re-assigned to Binghamton of the American Hockey League.
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