Christian Thomas admits it’s tough getting adjusted to the time difference as he traveled back and forth to Europe on two occasions this season.
Still, Thomas wouldn’t mind dealing with the time change one more time.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward recently returned from Switzerland where he competed with Team Canada in the Spengler Cup. In November, Thomas traveled to Sweden to represent his country in the Karjala Cup. Both tournaments were used by Team Canada officials as a selection process for players who will play for Canada in the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.
That’s one trip Thomas is hoping to make.
He said Canada’s roster could be announced on Jan. 11, and until then Thomas can just hope that his play in the two tournaments was enough to earn him a spot.
“It’s sneaking up quickly now. After playing in two tournaments and meeting a bunch of guys who have the same opportunity, I’m excited,” Thomas said. “It would be a dream come true.”
Thomas scored a goal in the Karjala Cup and added an assist in the Spengler Cup, which Team Canada won for the third consecutive year. In both tournaments, Thomas played in every game and logged a regular shift.
“I played a good amount of minutes, which was nice to see that the coaches had some confidence in us,” Thomas said. “Hopefully that helps my chances.”
— The Penguins face the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Wednesday, the team that is chasing them for fourth place in the Atlantic Division. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton can move past Charlotte for third place in the division with a win on Wednesday.
— With Pittsburgh calling up players with regularity of late, head coach Clark Donatelli said all the moves serve as motivation for his team. “If you’re playing well you’re going to get an opportunity up top and play for Pittsburgh. Our guys see the movement and they see if they play the right way they’ll have a chance to go up,” he said.
— Pittsburgh recalled Dominik Simon on Monday and re-assigned D Andrey Pedan, F Garrett Wilson and G Casey DeSmith. On Tuesday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton recalled forwards Cody Wydo and Reid Gardiner from Wheeling. Wydo posted an assist in his first game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season on Dec. 22 against Binghamton. It was his only point in four games with the Penguins this season. In seven career AHL games, all with Penguins, Wydo has one goal and one assist for two points.
— Colin Smith played in his 300th AHL game on Friday, and Jarred Tinordi played in his 300th professional game on Saturday.
— On the injury front, F Gage Quinney (upper body) could return this weekend. Forwards Tom Sestito and Tom Kostopoulos, defenseman Lukas Bengtsson and goaltender Michael Leighton won’t return this weekend and are week-to-week.