After a couple of weeks in Cologne, Germany and Paris, several Islanders are coming home with some medals and other accolades from the 2017 IIHF World Championships.
Sweden beat Canada 2-1 in a shootout for the gold medal on Sunday, so defenseman Calvin de Haan received a silver medal for his efforts. Although he only had one assist in 10 games at the tournament, de Haan played a ton for Team Canada against some heavy competition.
Huge minutes for DeHaan in World Championship gold medal game, including final minute of OT. #Isles— Eric Hornick (@ehornick) May 21, 2017
Despite the loss, the Carp Lad sounds like he had a blast.
Tough way to lose...most fun I've ever had playing hockey...so fortunate to represent my country with these warriors @HockeyCanada— Calvin de Haan (@cal_dehaan) May 21, 2017
(The less said about the stupid but predictable aftermath of this sincerely gracious tweet, the better.)
Also on Sunday, Russia beat Finland 5-3 to take the bronze. Goaltending prospect Ilya Sorokin served as Andrey Vasilevski’s backup for both the semifinal and the medal game, but he still takes home a souvenir. Sorokin only got into two games during the tournament, but pitched a 24-save shutout in a victory over Latvia, so he earned that medal.
But wait. There was one more Islander of note at this year’s Worlds. Dennis Seidenberg was named the tournament’s best defenseman after leading all players at the position with eight points (one goal, seven assists). He was also on the final All Star team, as selected by the media
Seidenberg’s goal and seven assists made him one of the host nation’s most productive contributors on a run to the knock-out phase and earned him the Directorate Best Defenceman award. That goal came in the thrilling victory over Latvia that took the Germans through in dramatic fashion.
Hey, you know what? Good for him, man. To go from unsigned free agent last September to best defenseman at the World Championships in May is quite a ride for the ol’ work horse. Yeah, we all want to see some younger blood in the Islanders lineup next season but for now, be proud, dude.
Oh, there’s one other last thing. The IIHF also inducted eight honorees into its Hall of Fame this weekend, and one of them was former Islanders defenseman and Cologne native Uwe Krupp. Krupp won two Stanley Cups in his 16-year NHL career, one with the Avalanche and fellow 2017 IIHF Hall of Fame inductee Joe Sakic in 1996, and the second in his final season with Detroit in 2002. Bet you forgot about that, didn’t you?
Krupp came to the Islanders from Buffalo in the Pierre Turgeon trade and spent three fun seasons on Long Island before being traded to the then-Quebec Nordiques in the deal that would result in Brett Lindros. Krupp was the first German to win the Cup and the first to score a Cup-winning goal, all thanks to his score in the fourth OT of Game 4 of the 1996 Stanley Cup final. Bet you didn’t know that, either. I didn’t.
“I am privileged and fortunate to know so many people who were able to take this awkward kid from Cologne, Germany, the first German to come to North America to help him on his way and help him learn to play hockey in the best league in the world.”
Also inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame were former Canadiens captain Saku Koivu, former Team USA standout Angela Ruggiero and Tony Hand, a.k.a. “The Wayne Gretzky of Scotland.”
Congrats to everyone. Now go get some rest. It’s been a long year.