Switzerland set foot on the ice in Riga for the first time on Thursday afternoon. There were also two newcomers to the NHL.
The World Cup opener for the national ice hockey team is approaching. Late on Wednesday evening, Switzerland landed in Riga where they will play the group stage. Coach Patrick Fisher’s team appeared Thursday afternoon at the 10,000-seat stadium for practice.
Niederreiter with Corvi again?
One of the first Swiss on the ice was Nino Niedretter. For the Winnipeg Jets forward, it was his first unit with the national team since participating in the World Cup in Slovakia in 2019. Although he is looking forward to the World Cup, Niederretter hasn’t fully internalized the disappointment of being eliminated from the NHL playoffs in As soon as possible: “Of course, I would love to fight for the Stanley Cup in North America,” says the man from the creek. But he immediately added: “It is always an honor to play for Switzerland.”
For the first time, Niederreiter is sharing a changing room with several players from this year’s World Cup squad. But not with Enzo Corvi. The two childhood friends from days together at the EHC Chur get along well not only off the ice, but also on it. It is therefore not surprising that Fisher immediately left the two trains in the same line of attack. Usually it was Fabrice Herzog who completed the attacking formation.
Storm lines in training Thursday
Niederretter – Korvi – Herzog
Thurkauf – Richard – Birchy
Malgin: Great pace and good technique
Niedereiter wasn’t the only fresh face in the Swiss World Cup squad. Dennis Malgin also joined Natty from Colorado. The Swiss top scorer for the 2022 World Cup (5 goals and 7 assists in 12 games) should give Fischer’s team, like Niedereiter, a special boost in the power play. While the solidly built Churer is supposed to cause problems in the hatch, the little Solothurn is more of a man for “Onetimer”.
Malgin also caught a lot in the NHL playoffs. No wonder, because he played for the defending champions. The 26-year-old is now looking forward. For Malgin, there is a lot at stake in the World Cup. He doesn’t just want to achieve great things with the natty. For Malgin, Riga (and possibly later Tampere) is also about forcing himself to a new contract in the NHL. His last North American job sheet ends after the current season.
Excited look outside
Newcomers Niedereiter and Malgen will be able to train with the squad for the second time on Friday afternoon before things get serious for Switzerland for the first time in Riga on Saturday. At 11:20 am, the national team meets outsiders Slovenia in their first group game.
It remains unclear whether Switzerland can count on further reinforcements from abroad. In the case of Kevin Fiala, it will be decided whether he is released by the Los Angeles Kings this weekend. On Friday night, Coach Fischer is also looking forward to North America, where a quartet of Devils Nico Hischer, Timo Meyer, Jonas Segenthaler and Akira Schmid could be eliminated from the playoffs against Carolina.
The current World Cup squad consists of 25 players. This is also the number that can be entered for the World Cup. So if NHL players join, other players will be left out in the short term.
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