By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- In a move that should surprise no one, Tuukka Rask has been named as a goaltender for Team Finland in the World Cup of Hockey, which starts September 17. He will compete with the Nashville Predators' Pekka Rinne for starting duties.
Rask practically sewed up his spot on Team Finland two years ago, when he nearly led Team Finland to a gold medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He shut out Team USA in the Bronze Medal Game 5-0.
Initial 16-man rosters for all eight teams are set to be revealed Wednesday. Team Russia has already revealed its lineup as well; you can view that here. The tournament, structured similarly to the soccer World Cup, also features teams from the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Sweden, and two all-star teams: Team Europe, with players from all other countries in Europe; and Team North America, featuring only players from North American countries who are 23 years of age or younger.
The last World Cup of Hockey took place in 2004, eight years after the inaugural tournament in 1996. Unlike the Olympics or the World Hockey Championships, the tournament is organized and sanctioned by the National Hockey League and takes place before the start of the NHL season, essentially making it the World Cup of the NHL. All of the best players in the world should be available, assuming health, which means you should expect Patrice Bergeron on Team Canada, Zdeno Chara on Team Europe, and David Krejci on Team Czech Republic.
The rest of the rosters will be rolled out Wednesday. Team USA announces its initial lineup at 6:45 p.m. ET on SportsCenter (yes, that SportsCenter). You will need to have either the NHL Network or Sportsnet to see Teams Canada, North America, and Europe, which will be unveiled during a three-hour special starting at 4 p.m. ET.
Here is the full schedule of World Cup of Hockey roster announcements for Wednesday, according to NHL.com:
Team Czech Republic: 11 a.m. ET (UPDATE: Bruins forwards David Krejci and David Pastrnak have ben named to the initial roster for Team Czech Republic. Check out the full roster at NHL.com.)
Team Sweden: 12:30 p.m. ET (Press conference in Tarrytown, NY)
Team Europe: 4:30 p.m. ET on Sportsnet/NHL Network
Team North America: 5:15 p.m. ET on Sportsnet/NHL Network
Team Canada: 6:05 p.m. ET on Sportsnet/NHL Network
Team USA: 6:45 p.m. ET on SportsCenter
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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