While players spend their careers in the NHL they do have the opportunity to represent their country in international tournaments. The most popular being the Olympics, although the NHL stated players will not be playing for their home countries in the 2018 Olympics. This decision did not sit well with players and some said they plan on playing either way.
A new tournament that was introduced this past summer called the World Cup of Hockey. It featured eight teams including Canada, Finland, Sweden, the United States, Russia and the Czech Republic. It also included two hybrid teams Team Europe and Team North America. Team Europe including players from European nations not already represented in the tournament. Team North America consisted of players from the US and Canada that were 23-years-old and under.
Team Canada leads the pack with first place wins in tournaments. They won the World Cup of Hockey and the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. Many San Jose Sharks have played for their countries including Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic for Canada. While Joe Pavelski played for Team USA. Young gun Tomas Hertl has represented the Czech Republic.