How did the two former Golden Knights do in the IIHF World Championship?

No Vegas Golden Knights were present at this year's IIHF World Championship. However, two former stars did play. So how did they finish?
France v Germany - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Czechia
France v Germany - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Czechia / Xavier Laine/GettyImages

Remember the two former Vegas Golden Knights highlighted for the 2024 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic? They were Pierre-Edouard Bellemare from France and Tomas Tatar from Slovakia, two players on the 2017-18 Stanley Cup Finals team who left their mark on the fanbase. The two former stars represented their nations this year, doing whatever they could to bring him a precious medal.

While neither player was successful, national pride was felt throughout the tournament from each nation, including their own. Just look at how Czech residents celebrated after watching the home team win the gold.

If you want proof that Europeans are big on hockey, look no further. The Czech Republic watched in unison as their national heroes defeated the Swiss in the championship game, 2-0. In a sport where heavyweights such as the United States, Sweden, and Canada were lurking, this chapter of the famed tournament provided a happy ending for the home nation. The funny thing is none of the aforementioned heavyweights played in the championship game, with only Sweden taking home a medal (bronze).

But back to the two former Vegas Golden Knights. Bellemare and Tatar, both currently unrestricted free agents leaving the Seattle Kraken, ended up not getting a medal for their efforts. Still, how did the two players fare in the tournament overall? Did they contribute anything significant to their nations during the event?

Looking at former Golden Knight, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

The last time Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was checked on, he had two goals in three games with France. That's where his total would end up, only with four more games added. The French didn't make it to the quarterfinal round, ending up near the bottom of Group B.

Granted, they weren't expected to go far in a group featuring the United States, Slovakia, and Sweden. That's why they finished 1-0-1-5 (one win, zero overtime wins, one overtime loss, and five losses) and only earned four points, after all. Bellemare was the only NHL player on the French roster, with only a couple of AHL players making the team. Still, it showcased what the pending free agent could do on a global stage. With no current Vegas Golden Knights playing in the tournament, why not root for a former star like Bellemare to help his underdog nation do whatever they could?

This will likely be the last hurrah for Bellemare as a hockey player. He's 39 years old and didn't do much for the Kraken this season. With only four goals and three assists in 40 games, the former Golden Knight (2017-19) will depart into the sunset soon. As for the other former forward for Vegas, how did he fare?

Looking at Tomas Tatar's performance

On the other hand, Tomas Tatar enjoyed modest success in the IIHF World Championship. His team, Slovakia, made it to the quarterfinal round, finishing fourth in group play. With a record of 3-1-1-2 (three wins, one overtime win, one overtime loss, and two losses), they earned 12 points and beat out Latvia for the final spot in Group B.

However, it wasn't meant to be for the Slovakians, as they bowed out to Canada, 6-3. It's tough when you're a smaller team who must face Connor Bedard and John Tavares in the quarterfinals. However, such was the case for the European squad, who fared well in this year's tournament. It alos helps to have NHL-level talent on the team, including Tatar, Juraj Slavkovsky, and Simon Nemec.

As for Tatar himself, he picked up the pace from his lone assist in three games. The forward scored a goal and five assists in eight games, adding eight penalty minutes to his stats. Overall, it wasn't a bad performance from the 2017-18 member of the Vegas Golden Knights.

While Tomas Tatar still has plenty of hockey in him compared to his counterpart in Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, he's also in his twilight years. The 33-year-old finished his season with the Seattle Kraken and Colorado Avalanche, scoring nine goals and 15 assists in 70 games. There could be an opening for the forward to come back as a depth piece this offseason.