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2012 IIHF World Championships Start Friday

It's going to be a long summer without Dallas Stars hockey but for those of us longing for just one last glimpse of our favorite players -- the IIHF World Championships will always be there. This year, seven Dallas Stars will be representing their respective countries in the international tournament:

Jamie Benn - Canada
Tomas Vincour - Czech Republic
Philip Larsen - Denmark
Kari Lehtonen - Finland
Loui Eriksson - Sweden
Alex Goligoski - USA
Richard Bachman - USA

All of the USA games will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, including the USA vs. Canada game on Saturday. You can find the full schedule for the tournament here.

Richard Bachman and Jimmy Howard will be splitting time in net for Team USA, but this is a great chance for Bachman to get some incredible experience internationally and get more exposure. It's going to be fun seeing what Benn can do as well in a tournament that favors skill and speed. We'll likely have open threads for each game of the tournament for Team USA.

The tournament runs through the month of May in Stockholm and Helsinki, with the Gold Medal game on Sunday, May 20 in Helsinki.