KARLSTAD, SWEDEN - Winter Olympic gold medallist and Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Smyth, was named captain of Team Canada on Thursday by Head Coach Wayne Fleming and the Team Canada coaching staff.
Joining Smyth, four assistant captains were named by Fleming for the World Championship:
Richard Matvichuk, Edmonton, AB, Dallas Stars
James Patrick, Winnipeg, MB, Buffalo Sabres
Ray Whitney, Ft. Saskatchewan, AB, Columbus Blue Jackets
Tyler Wright, Kamsack, SK, Columbus Blue Jackets
Smyth, a native of Banff, AB, won a gold medal with Canada at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. The 2002 Men's World Championship will be Smyth's sixth time representing Canada internationally. Smyth has participated in the 1999, 20 World Championships for Canada, and was a member of the gold medal winning World Junior team in 1995.
Smyth was an assistant captain of last year's 2001 World Championship team, and then became captain when forward Mike Peca was injured in the preliminary round of the championship.
All four assistant captains bring international experience to the 2002 Men's World Championship team for Canada. Matvichuk was a member of Canada's 1992 World Junior team, and attended Canada's Men's Olympic orientation camp last September.
This is Patrick's fifth World Championship appearance for Canada, and the Winnipeg, MB native is currently ranked eighth with 33 games played all-time with Canada at the World Championship, and should eclipse the Canadian all-time record of 37 games during this year's championship.
Whitney represented Canada at both the 19 World Championships, and led Canada in scoring in 1998 with six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in six games. Wright represented Canada at the 19 World Junior Championships, winning gold with the 1993 squad.
Canada's first game at the 2002 IIHF World Hockey Championship will take place in Karlstad, Sweden on April 27 versus Latvia. This year's World Championship in Sweden will be played in three locations: Karlstad, Gothenburg and Jonkoping, with the final round to be played in Gothenburg.
All of Canada's games will be broadcast live on TSN/RDS, the official broadcaster of the CHA. Check local listings. Canada will be adding players to its roster once the first round of NHL playoffs conclude.