Jay Bouwmeester will replace Duncan Keith at the World Cup of Hockey tournament, Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday.
— Team Canada Men (@HC_Men) August 24, 2016
Keith’s decision to pull out of the eight-team international tournament comes as the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman continues to focus on rehabilitating a right knee injury before the start of the NHL regular season in October.
Bouwmeester, 32, is no stranger to representing Canada on the international stage. The St. Louis Blues defenseman was a member of Canada’s 2004 World Cup championship team and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games gold medal team. He was also a member of Team Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002, winning two bronze medals and one silver. Bouwmeester also took home gold medals at the 2003 and 2004 IIHF World Championships.
“First and foremost, we want to wish Duncan the best in his continued rehabilitation, and welcome Jay to the team,” said Doug Armstrong, general manager for Team Canada. “Our management team and coaching staff felt it was critical to ensure continuity between the number of left- and right-handed defensemen on our roster, and Jay’s experience with what it takes to be successful in these short tournaments can’t be undervalued.”
While the loss of Keith, 33, cannot be understated, Bouwmeester’s experience in international competition will go a long way for Canada at the World Cup.
The tournament is set to take place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1.