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Three Habs crack Canada's list for Turin

Thursday, 20.10.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
Montreal Canadiens
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Three Habs crack Canada\'s list for Turin
Theodore, Souray and Ryder on Canada's radar screen for 2006 Olympics

Sheldon Souray made his international debut with Team Canada at the 2005 World Championships in Austria.

MONTREAL - With the 2006 Winter Olympics fast approaching, Team Canada unveiled Wednesday the list of 81 names that could possibly be sewn onto the back of a Canadian jersey in Turin, Italy this coming February. Those making the cut included Canadiens Jose Theodore, Sheldon Souray and Michael Ryder.

"As a country, we are very lucky to have such a wealth of talented players to select from," said Wayne Gretzky, Team Canada Executive Director.  "As a management and coaching staff, the task of reducing this list to 23 players will be challenging as we strive to defend Olympic Gold in Turin."

During the IIHF Olympic Meetings in Portugal last month, the IOC, IIHF, NHL, NHLPA and all participating men's hockey countries came to an agreement, which determined that each country had until October 24th to submit a preliminary list of players. All participating countries are required to submit their final 23-man rosters no later than Dec. 22.

The 81-player list included nine goaltenders, 23 defensemen and 49 forwards. The Flyers, Leafs and Bruins led the way with five players chosen each while the Islanders, Capitals, Rangers and Kings were the only four teams without a selection.

Theodore is no stranger to Team Canada, his most recent call to duty coming at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He, Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur, were the three goalies chosen to represent Canada.

"It's definitely fun to see my name on the list, but it wasn't a surprise, having been one of three goalies at the World Cup and then one of only four at the [Team Canada] camp this summer," said Theodore, who also led Team Canada to gold at the 1996 World Junior Hockey Championships in Boston, MA. "When I heard there was a list of 81 players, including nine goalies, I kind of expected my name to be there."

Souray made the list after getting his first taste of the international hockey stage when he suited up for the 2005 World Championships in Austria. The Canadians fell to the Czech Republic in the gold medal game, coming up just short in their quest for a third straight title.

"It just shows you how much depth we're blessed with here in Canada at every position," said Souray. "Sure, getting to play at an event like the Olympics would be a dream come true, but it's still a long way off and there is a lot of hockey left to be played. There's no sense in focusing on it now, though. I'm just going to keep playing my game and we'll see who makes it come December."

Ryder barely had to shave when he first wore a Team Canada jersey.

"The last time I was involved with Team Canada was when I played in the 2000 World Juniors in Sweden," said Ryder, who took home a bronze medal along with current linemate Mike Ribeiro that year under the watchful eye of none other than Claude Julien. "I hadn't really heard anything regarding the Olympics, so it definitely feels good to end up on the list."

The most notable omission from the extensive list was goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Team Canada Preliminary List

Anaheim
Joffrey Lupul
Rob Niedermayer
Scott Niedermayer

C
C
D
Atlanta
Marc Savard

C
Boston
Patrice Bergeron
Nick Boynton
Glen Murray
Andrew Raycroft
Joe Thornton

C
D
RW
G
C
Buffalo
Daniel Briere

C
Calgary
Jarome Iginla
Dion Phaneuf
Robyn Regher

RW
D
D
Carolina
Eric Staal
Cam Ward

C
G
Chicago
Adrian Aucoin

D
Colorado
Rob Blake
Joe Sakic
Alex Tanguay

D
C
LW
Columbus
Adam Foote
Rick Nash

D
LW
Dallas
Jason Arnott
Brenden Morrow
Marty Turco

C
LW
G
Detroit
Kris Draper
Kirk Maltby
Brendan Shanahan
Steve Yzerman

C
LW
LW
C
Edmonton
Shawn Horcoff
Michael Peca
Chris Pronger
Ryan Smyth
Steve Staios

C
C
D
LW
D
Florida
Jay Bouwmeester
Roberto Luongo
Joe Nieuwendyk

D
G
C
Minnesota
Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Marc Chouinard
Wes Walz

RW
C
C
Montreal
Michael Ryder
Sheldon Souray
Jose Theodore

RW
D
G
Nashville
Paul Kariya
Steve Sullivan
Scott Walker

LW
RW
RW
New Jersey
Martin Brodeur
John Madden

G
C
Ottawa
Dany Heatley
Chris Phillips
Wade Redden
Jason Spezza

RW
D
D
C
Philadelphia
Jeff Carter
Eric Desjardins
Simon Gagne
Keith Primeau
Michael Richards

C
D
LW
C
C
Phoenix
Shane Doan
Curtis Joseph
Derek Morris

RW
G
D
Pittsburgh
Sidney Crosby
Mario Lemieux
Mark Recchi

C
C
RW
St. Louis
Eric Brewer
Barret Jackman

D
D
San Jose
Scott Hannan
Patrick Marleau
Kyle McLaren
Brad Stuart

D
C
D
D
Tampa Bay
Dan Boyle
Vincent Lecavalier
Brad Richards
Martin St. Louis

D
C
C
RW
Toronto
Jason Allison
Ed Belfour
Eric Lindros
Bryan McCabe
Jeff O'Neill

C
G
C
D
RW
Vancouver
Todd Bertuzzi
Dan Cloutier
Ed Jovanovski
Brendan Morrison

RW
G
D
C

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com