MONTREAL,QC -- Olympic silver medalists Manon Rhéaume of Lac Beauport, QC and Karen Nystrom of Scarborough, ON will not be able to participate in the 1998 National Women's Team Evaluation Camp in Montreal, head coach Danièle Sauvageau announced Monday.
Rhéaume, 26, who married Gerry St. Cyr this summer, told Sauvageau last week she is pregnant with the couple's first child. She is expected to give birth in May 1999 and will miss the entire 1998-99 season, including the 1999 Women's World Hockey Championship in Espoo, Finland.
Nystrom, 29, will miss the camp owing to an ankle injury she first suffered while training for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. Nystrom had off-season surgery to correct the problem, which is aggravated by ill-fitting skates. She is expected to be available for both the 3 Nations Cup Tournament in Finland in December, as well as the Women's World Championship, if she earns a berth on the team.
The absences of Rhéaume and Nystrom cuts the camp roster to 39 players, incliuding four goaltenders, for the moment. Sauvageau said the team may invite another player to replace Nystrom.
The rest of the players were slated to arrive on Monday for the first of seven days of practices at the Maurice Richard Arena. Sauvageau and her staff have divided the players into two teams which will play four intrasquad games over the week-long camp.