Hockey isn't over yet for Sabres' forward Ryan O'Reilly who said he will be part of Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship, scheduled for May 5-21 in Cologne, German and Paris.
This is the fourth time O'Reilly will play for Canada in the World Championship. He had two goals and six assists as Canada won the gold medal last year. He's played 35 games at the World Championship with seven goals and 19 assists.
"I got the call like a week or so ago and absolutely I'm going," O'Reilly said as the Sabres held their locker cleanout day on Monday morning in KeyBank Center.
For O'Reilly, the lure of playing for Team Canada, aside from pulling on the national-team jersey, is two-fold – it's a chance to win and an opportunity to prepare for the NHL playoff hockey he hopes to be playing in the future.
"It's always an opportunity to win," O'Reilly said. "It's disappointing because I want to be in the playoffs. I'd rather be there. But still it's a great tournament and it gives a chance to win and I think it's good preparation for the playoffs. I'm still playing hockey at that time. If we were going to the playoffs I'd have to find a way to produce, so I look at this as another opportunity to keep going and hopefully win."
Rasmus Ristolainen was indecisive about playing for Finland in the tournament.
"I haven't thought about it too much," Ristolainen said. "Probably make the decision in the next couple of days."
Sam Reinhart said he has not been contacted by Team Canada while Jack Eichel said he did not know yet if he would be playing for Team USA.