Injuries force Bernier, Phaneuf to skip Worlds

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Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf and starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier have elected to skip next month’s World Hockey Championship.

Phaneuf is still dealing with a right hand issue, which forced him to miss 12 games during the season. On Monday the Leafs captain noted his hand was still slightly swollen.

The 30-year-old suffered the injury during a January fight with Senators’ forward Milan Michalek.

Bernier told reporters following Saturday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens that he was considering Hockey Canada’s offer to represent the country overseas.

During Monday’s locker cleanout, the 26-year-old said he’s decided not to go due to both an undisclosed injury and the uncertainty surrounding his contract. Bernier is set to become a restricted free agent this summer.

James van Riemsdyk and Morgan Rielly could be headed to the Czech Republic.

Van Riemsdyk told reporters he’s considering an offer to join Team USA while Rielly is awaiting the results from an MRI.