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Team Canada building roster for World Hockey Championship

The Canadian Press with files from TSN.ca

4/9/2012 6:29:52 PM

A strong group of players has answered the call for Canada.

Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, John Tavares, Jay Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf and Cam Ward highlight the first wave who have accepted an invitation to next month's IIHF World Hockey Championship.

"That's a pretty good list," Phaneuf said Monday.

The event represents Canada's last chance to improve its world ranking from fourth ahead of the Sochi Olympics. Once the world championships wrap up, the groupings for the 2014 Games will be set -- and Hockey Canada desperately wants to improve its current placing.

The country slipped down the world list after crashing out of the tournament in the quarter-finals the last two years.

General manager Kevin Lowe has assembled an experienced, talent-laden lineup that includes four 30-goal scorers this year: Perry, Tavares, Jordan Eberle and Evander Kane.

Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla was asked to play in the tournament but declined the invitation.

While the position of head coach has yet to be named, the coaching staff is starting to take shape.

Carolina Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller and Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher have accepted roles as assistant coaches.

The head coach is expected to be announced this week with Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff the leading candidate.

The tournament begins May 4 in Finland and Sweden.