On Monday, Team Canada World Cup GM Wayne Gretzky announced that G Ed Belfour has withdrawn from the World Cup of Hockey due to a back injury, and that Montreal Canadiens netminder Jose Theodore will be replacing him, most likely as the #3 netminder. Currently, Devils’ G Martin Brodeur and Panthers’ G Roberto Luongo are the consensus #1 and 2 goalies heading into the tournament.
“I am very excited and honoured to be named to Team Canada,” said a happy Theodore, upon learning of the news. “Any time you have the opportunity to represent your country, it is a thrill, and I’m looking forward to being a part of Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey.”
Last season, Theodore was most often the star of the show for the Habs, compiling a 33-28-5 record in 67 games last season, with a 2.27 GAA and a .919 save percentage. He also played in 11 postseason contests, earning a 4-7 record with a 2.39 GAA and, once again, a .919 save percentage.
Theodore is the 4th Hab to be named to a World Cup roster. He joins Saku Koivu (Finland), Andrei Markov (Russia), and Richard Zednik (Slovakia), although Zednik may miss the tourney due to an offseason hernia operation. Current UFA winger Alexei Kovalev, who most recently played for the Canadiens, has also been named to the Russian squad.