CALGARY, AB – Team Canada’s World Cup of Hockey 2004 Executive Director Wayne Gretzky, along with Canada’s management and coaching staff were informed on Sunday that St. Louis Blues defenceman Chris Pronger will be unable to play for Team Canada at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, due to injury.
Team Canada named Florida Panthers defenceman Jay Bouwmeester to its roster for the World Cup of Hockey 2004 on Sunday.
“I am honoured by the opportunity to represent Canada, “ said Bouwmeester. “This is a chance to play with and against the best players in the world, and I am excited to be a part of Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey.”
“We are disappointed that Chris could not participate, but this gives a great opportunity to one of Canada’s rising young stars, “ said Gretzky. “When you can replace Chris with a player of Jay’s caliber, it shows you how much depth we have in this country.”
Internationally, Jay has represented Canada five times, including winning gold medals at both the 20 Men’s World Championships, as well as being named as the tournament’s ‘Best Defencemen’ and an All-Star in 2003. He was a three time medalist with Canada’s National Junior Team, and is the youngest player ever to play for Canada at the National Junior tournament.
Bouwmeester has played two NHL seasons, both with the Florida Panthers. During the 2003-04 season, Jay missed 18 games due to a foot injury, but was still able to set career highs in assists (18) and points (20). In 2002-03, he was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie team. He scored four goals and 12 assists for 16 points while setting a franchise rookie record by playing in all 82 games.
Team Canada’s training camp will open on August 20th in Ottawa, ON at the University of Ottawa, where the team will train for three days and then relocate to the Corel Centre. Canada will play its first game of the World Cup of Hockey 2004 on August 31 versus Team USA at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Tickets are on sale for Team Canada’s exhibition games in Ottawa, and the Team Canada International Series.
Three game ticket packages and individual tickets can be purchased by the general public 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.