The Slovenia Times

NHL Star Kopitar Commits to Slovenia for Ice Hockey Worlds

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Kopitar, who won Stanley Cups with the LA Kings in 2012 and 2014, announced the decision to join the national team managed by his father MatjaĆŸ Kopitar after a meeting with the club's management.

"Considering that my father is the coach, it was easier to make the decision. I have an opportunity to come to play for Slovenia and get together with the guys with who we achieved a great result in Sochi," he told the press.

Slovenia will be an underdog in Group B in Ostrava also featuring Finland, Russia, the US, Slovakia, Norway, Belarus and Denmark, and will look to avoid finishing among the bottom two and being relegated to Division I.

Slovenia is coming of a historic result at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which were the first ever for the nation. The team was the surprise of the tournament, making it to the quarter-finals against powerhouse Sweden.

"I have no personal goals. The team's goal is what is important. The player's thoughts are focused on the remaining in the elite group. We will see if we can make it," said the 27-year-old Kopitar.

Kopitar last appearance for Slovenia at an ice hockey world championships was in 2008 in Canada's Halifax.

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