Canada's list topped by Crosby

Updated: 2013-07-24 07:22

By Agence France-Presse in Calgary, Canada (China Daily)

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Gold medal game hero Sidney Crosby as well as Chicago Blackhawks stars Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews have been invited to Canada's Olympic hockey tryout camp next month.

Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain, who scored the overtime winner as Canada beat Team USA 3-2 to claim gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, will try to lead Canada to another gold at the 2014 Sochi Games in Russia.

"I have never been to Russia," Crosby said in a conference call.

"The opportunity to play hockey there is pretty special. With Canada there are so many guys who could play for that team."

Canada also announced Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock will return as head coach of the Olympic team, while St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock, Boston's Claude Julien and Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars have been named assistant coaches.

"I am extremely proud to represent my country and coach Team Canada," said Babcock.

"To win gold in Canada was a dream come true. In February we will have a whole set of new challenges with a new group of players and staff."

Fifteen players from the 2010 gold medal team have been invited to camp.

Two notable names left off the list were forwards Jarome Iginla of the Boston Bruins and Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators - both of whom were on the 2010 squad.

Forwards Toews and Sharp and defenseman Keith won the Stanley Cup last month with the Blackhawks, who beat the Bruins 4-2 in the finals.

Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford and defenseman Brent Seabrook are also among the 47 players invited to the orientation camp, which is set for Aug 25-27 in Calgary.

Toews and Keith led the Blackhawks in assists (11 each) during Chicago's playoff run, which lasted 23 games.

Boston has three players invited, including forward Patrice Bergeron who spent several days in hospital after playing with a string of injuries in the Stanley Cup finals.

Bergeron skated in Game 6 despite a broken rib, torn rib cartilage, a separated shoulder and a punctured lung which ended up collapsing once he got to hospital.

The 2014 Winter Olympics will be held Feb 7-23.

(China Daily 07/24/2013 page22)