CALGARY, ALTA -- Six players, including Calgary Flames' rookie power forward Jarome Iginla, San Jose Sharks' winger Jeff Friesen and Canadian National Team scoring leader Dean Evason have been selected to play for Team Canada at the 1997 World Hockey Championship by general manager Bob Clarke, Canadian Hockey announced Sunday.
Also selected to the team which will compete to win gold in Helsinki and Turku, Finland from April 26 - May 14 are goaltender Eric Fichaud, centre Travis Green and defenceman Bryan McCabe, all of the New York Islanders, who were eliminated from the National Hockey League playoffs late this week.
The players are the first to accept to play for Canada as Clarke, also GM of the Philadelphia Flyers, builds a 23-player roster for the World Championship. The team will be selected and managed by Clarke, Bob Gainey, the Dallas Stars GM, and Pierre Gauthier, GM of the Ottawa Senators. The three GMs also will manage Team Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
Canada's World Championship entry will be coached by Andy Murray, head coach of Canada's National Team, along with assistants Mike Johnston, who is associate coach and GM of the National team, and Wayne Cashman, assistant coach of the San Jose Sharks.
The six players will be in Winnipeg, Man., on Thursday, April 17 as the club opens a mini-camp to prepare for the World's. Team Canada will play two pre-tournament games at the Winnipeg Arena on April 19 and 20 before flying to Finland.
Friesen, 21, and Green, 26, both helped Canada win a silver medal at the 1996 World Hockey Championship in Vienna, Austria, under head coach Tom Renney and assistants Murray and Johnston.
This will be Friesen's fifth major International participation. He also earned gold medals at the 19 World Junior Hockey Championship under coaches Joe Canale (94) and Don Hay (95). He also played for Canada's national under-18 team at the 1993 Pacific Cup tournament.
Green will be making his second international appearance for Canada, which last won the World Hockey Championship in 1994 in Bolzano, Italy. Canada has reached the podium at the championship the last three years, having earned a bronze medal in 1995, as well as the silver medal last year.
The 1997 World Championship will be the first international participation for Canada for Evason, 32, a 12-year NHL veteran, with the Hartford Whalers, San Jose Sharks and the Calgary Flames.
Iginla, 19, led Canada to a World Junior gold medal in 1996, and also played for Canada's under-18 team in 1994 at the Pacific Cup. McCabe, 21, helped Canada win consecutive World Junior titles in 1994-95.
Canada will carry a roster of 23 players (three goalies, 20 skaters) at the World Championship in Finland, which begins for Team Canada in Turku on April 26 against Norway. Clarke hopes to have 16 NHL players chosen in time for the pre-camp in Winnipeg and will also use four members of the full-time National team -- defenceman Brett Clark, forwards Steve Junker and Jason Young, and Evason.
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