Team Sweden has released their preliminary 16-man roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey... and unsurprisingly the Caps' top pivot, Nicklas Backstrom, has made the cut.
This selection marks Backstrom's return to international competition after a 2014 Olympic appearance that took a rather awful and very surprising turn. He was disqualified from the gold medal game against Canada - on game day, no less - for using a banned substance (which turned out to be an allergy medication). Sweden went on to lose, and Backstrom eventually received his silver medal, but the whole fiasco no doubt left a sour taste in his mouth for playing international hockey.
Ah, but the World Cup is a horse of a different color; run by the NHL, it's unlikely he'll run into the same issues at this tournament (and one would imagine he and the medical staff will take extra precautions to avoid just that). So the only question remaining is if either of his Swedish teammates will be joining him when the full roster is revealed.
For now, here's a look at the preliminary Swedish squad:
G Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
G Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks
D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
D Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings
D Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
D Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning
D Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks
F Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
F Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
F Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
F Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
F Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
F Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins
F Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
F Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues
F Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators