PRAGUE – Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Smyth, a 2002 Winter Olympic gold medalist and representing Canada at his sixth consecutive Men’s World Hockey Championship, was named captain of Team Canada today by Head Coach Mike Babcock and the Team Canada coaching staff.
The 2004 Men’s World Hockey Championship marks the fourth World Hockey Championship that Smyth has worn the ‘C’ for Canada. Smyth was captain of last year’s gold medal winning team in Finland, as well as in 2002 in Sweden, and at the 2001 World Championships in Germany, he wore the captain's "C" after teammate Michael Peca was injured.
Smyth, a native of Banff, AB, will be representing Canada on the international stage for eighth time in his career. In addition to his six times at the Men’s Worlds, he was a member of the gold medal winning World Junior team in 1995, and the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Two assistant captains were also named for the 2004 Men’s World Championship:
• Scott Niedermayer Cranbrook, BC New Jersey Devils
• Steve Staios Hamilton, ON Edmonton Oilers
Both assistant captains bring international experience and leadership to the 2004 Men’s World Championship team for Canada. Niedermayer was a member of Team Canada’s 2002 gold medal winning Olympic team, as well as two World Junior Championships (gold medal in 1991 and WJC All-Star team in 1992). Niedermayer is a finalist for the Norris Trophy (NHL’s top defenseman) for the 2003-2004 season. Staios is playing in his third consecutive World Championship, winning a gold medal in 2003.
Canada plays its first game of the 2004 Men’s Worlds on Sunday, April 25 versus Austria (2pm ET/ 11am PT, TSN/RDS).