CEDAR PARK — International tournaments are going to leave teams a little shorthanded this weekend when the Texas Stars play the San Antonio Rampage and the Charlotte Checkers.
Texas will be missing 19-year-old defenseman Julius Honka, who joined Team Finland on Monday for the World Junior Championship. The International Ice Hockey Federation tournament will be played in Canada, starting Friday and running through Jan. 5.
San Antonio will be missing forward Ryan Martindale while Charlotte will be without goalie Drew MacIntyre after both players were selected to represent Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.
The Spengler Cup is the world’s oldest invitational tournament, and Canada has sent a team every year since 1984. Texas Stars general manager Scott White is part of the management group for Team Canada. In that role, White said, he helped select MacIntyre and Martindale, whom he’s often seen play against Texas.
“My main job was to work and compile the list of AHL guys and find out who would be interested and released to go,” White said. “We were looking at those tier of players that aren’t the next call-up to the NHL but still should get to represent their country.”
White said Texas defensemen Derek Meech and Max Fortunus where both considered for Team Canada, but injuries and a lack of depth on the Stars defense took them out of the picture.
Seven AHL players have been lined up for Canada’s squad at the Spengler Cup, and former Texas Star Mike Hedden, now playing in Finland, also is on the roster.