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Some Maple Leafs players get invites to world tourney

Toronto Maple Leaf John Tavares meets with reporters on Thursday. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/TORONTO SUN)
Toronto Maple Leaf John Tavares meets with reporters on Thursday. CRAIG ROBERTSON/Postmedia News

The season isn’t done yet for some Maple Leafs.

Both general manager Kyle Dubas and individual players have been getting calls since Tuesday from various federations around the hockey world about coming to the world championships, May 10-26 in Slovakia.

Among the first to express interest, Leafs goal leader John Tavares, a frequent volunteer for Team Canada.

“They’ve reached out, I’m considering it,” Tavares said. “I haven’t made a final decision but I’m considering going.”

Defenceman Morgan Rielly spoke about it with Dubas but said he’s not sure, while point leader Mitch Marner said he’d have to decline if asked, citing the injury risk without yet hashing out his mega-contract this summer.

Auston Matthews, who came up through the U.S. Development Program, was awaiting medical clearance for some minor issues before getting into serious discussions.

“They have a really good team with the players already going,” Matthews said. “It’s really enticing.”

Goalie Frederik Andersen went last year with the tournament in his home Denmark, but says this time he’d rather make sure he’s 100% recovered from a mid-season groin injury.

Dubas said he’d been approached by reps from Slovakia (defencemen Martin Marincin is from one of the host cities, Kosice) and Russia (for blueliners Nikita Zaitsev and Igor Ozhiganov).

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