CALGARY, ALBERTA – Hockey Canada President, Bob Nicholson and Team Canada’s World Cup management team of Wayne Gretzky, Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini, along with Head Coach Pat Quinn and associate coaches Ken Hitchcock, Jacques Martin and Wayne Fleming named Canada’s roster of 26 players for the World Cup of Hockey 2004 (WCΩH 2004).
All of Canada’s 26 players have previous international experience and have won a total of 43 gold medals at World Juniors, Olympics or World Championships. In addition, three players captured the Canada Cup, which preceded the World Cup of Hockey.
Canada’s roster includes 14 players that won a gold medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, six (6) players that played for Team Canada at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, six (6) players that won a gold medal at the 2004 Men’s World Hockey Championship in Prague last week, and seven (7) players that won World Championship gold in 2003 in Finland. In total, Canada’s roster accounts for 686 international games played in either the World Juniors, the Olympics, the World Championship or the Canada Cup/ World Cup of Hockey.
Canada’s roster also boasts eight current NHL captains (Doan, Iginla, Lemieux, Marleau, Niedermayer, Sakic, Thornton, Yzerman) and a total of seven alternate captains.
The WCH 2004 rules state that teams will dress 18 skaters and two goalies for each game. The World Cup of Hockey 2004 runs from August 30 – .
"We are very pleased with the quality and experience of the players that we have named today, " said Wayne Gretzky. "We feel we have an excellent mix of veterans and young talented players, and we hope to continue Canada’s international success with a very competitive and skilled team at this year’s World Cup of Hockey."
Ottawa, ON will be the site for Team Canada’s training camp for the World Cup of Hockey 2004 and Ottawa’s Corel Centre will host three exhibition games (the ‘Team Canada International Series’), which includes two of Team Canada’s exhibition games on August 25 and on August 28 and the Russia vs. Slovakia game on August 29.
Team Canada’s training camp is scheduled to open on August 20th at the University of Ottawa, where the team will train for three days and then relocate to the Corel Centre. Details regarding Team Canada’s training camp will be announced at a later date.
Three game ticket packages are still available for the ‘Team Canada International Series’. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.capitaltickets.ca, by calling 613-599-FANS or by calling toll free: 1-877-788-FANS. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Corel Centre box office and at all Sports Expert locations in Ottawa-Gatineau.
Team Canada will play a third exhibition game in Columbus, OH on Monday, Canada vs. USA at the Nationwide Arena.
Canada will play its first tournament game of the WCH 2004 on August 31st in Montreal versus USA. Eight of the top hockey nations in the world make up two pools that will compete in the second World Cup of Hockey tournament. The North American pool consists of Canada, Russia, Slovakia and USA. The Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Sweden will compete in the European pool.
The North American pool will play its games at three venues: The Bell Centre in Montreal, the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. A complete schedule of World Cup of Hockey 2004, as well as ticket information can be found at www.wch2004.com.
The World Cup of Hockey 2004 is a joint effort of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL), in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).