The hits keep on coming for the Czech Republic roster heading into the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Just one day after finding out that Boston Bruins forward David Krejci will not be able to play as he recovers from offseason surgery, it looks as if the team will also be without San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas.
Hertl injured his knee during the Stanley Cup Final when he was hit hard by Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist in Game 2. He did not play in another game in the series. Like Krejci, this would be another significant loss for a team that might have already been one of the least talented rosters in the tournament.
Hertl, still only 22 years old, is one of the best young players in the NHL (and would have been one of the top players on the Czech Republic roster) and is coming off of a 21-goal, 25-assist season for the Sharks. He added six goals and five assists in 20 playoff games to help the Sharks reach the Stanley Cup Final.
Gudas is one of the most physical players in the league, and tends to always play right on the line, but took some pretty big steps this past season to becoming an extremely useful player on the blue line, playing close to 20 minutes a night for the Philadelphia Flyers, posting strong possession numbers and contributing 14 points in 76 games.
He is still recovering from a wrist injury.
At this point no replacements have been named for either player. Though, with Roman Cervenka being the player added to take Krejci’s spot it is probably fair to say that the talent level is going to be dropping a bit.