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Player Selection


Elite Eight


Goalies

  • Patrick Roy
  • Martin Brodeur
  • Curtis Joseph
  • Ed Belfour

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Rob BlakeRob Blake, 31, defence - A big, steady two-way defenceman and veteran of the 1998 Olympic team who has plenty of international experience at world championships. Won the Norris Trophy in 1998. His booming slap shot and deceiving skating skills make him a dangerous weapon for the Canadian team. Always a threat to jump into the play to give his team an odd-man rush in the offensive zone. A former captain of the Los Angeles Kings, now with the Colorado Avalanche.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Represented Canada at 5 World Championships
  • Played in 1998 Olympics
  • 1998 Norris Trophy winner(best defenceman)

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Paul KariyaPaul Kariya, 26, left wing - Canada is deep at centre and a bit thin on the wings. Kariya is by far Canada's most potent offensive threat on the wing, his blinding speed and vicious shot a lethal combination - even more so on the international ice surface. If you think he's great with Anaheim, wait until he gets to actually play with a centre who has talent. The only worry with the diminutive Kariya is injury - which is what kept him out of the Nagano Olympics. Captain of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks since 1996, sharing C with Teemu Selanne for a period.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Five-time NHL All-Star
  • Concussion left him off 1998 Olympic team

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Mario LemieuxMario Lemieux, 35, centre - Ended a 3-year retirement and promptly registered a point 33 seconds into his first game. The rest is history. Super Mario will be even more dangerous on the big international ice surface - especially on power plays - removed from the constant clutching and grabbing of your average NHL game. Just his presence on the ice will be an edge as well, reminding opponents they're facing one of the game's all-time greats. Should Canada be faced with another dreaded shootout, Lemieux is almost a guaranteed goal. Former captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, he now owns the team.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 2002 will be first Olympics played
  • Retired from NHL and returned three years later
  • Back to back Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh

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Scott NiedermayerScott Niedermayer, 27, defence - Along with Blake, an excellent rushing defenceman who nevertheless rarely gets caught out of position. Another key player in the transition game who has more to offer on the big ice surface. Plays for New Jersey Devils.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 2002 will be first Olympics played
  • Two Stanley Cups with New Jersey

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Owen NolanOwen Nolan, 29, right wing - The lone surprise of the eight players named, the big power forward has deceiving speed on the wing and a terrific shot. Will have to control his fiery temper and stay out of the penalty box in his first Olympics. Has some international experience, scoring winning goal at '97 world championships. Captain of the San Jose Sharks since 1998.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Four-time NHL All-Star
  • 30 or more goals per year five times

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Chris ProngerChris Pronger, 26, defence - While the larger ice surface isn't necessarily an advantage for the towering six-foot-six blue-liner, Pronger is excellent not only at getting the puck out of the zone, but also hitting the open forward with a tape-to-tape pass. The transition game is more critical in international hockey, and Pronger will be a key asset in that department. His more obvious skill is that he is second-to-none at moving players cruising around the net, which will be important against players like Jaromir Jagr of the Czech Republic, Mats Sundin of Sweden and Bill Guerin of the U.S. Captain of the St. Louis Blues since 1997.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Won Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) in 2000
  • Played in 1998 Olympics

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Joe Sakic

Joe Sakic, 31, centre - The favourite to win this season's Hart Trophy as NHL MVP, the speedy centre is one of the world's most balanced offensive threats. If he doesn't beat you with a perfect wrist shot to the top right corner, he fakes a shot and threads the needle to a teammate looking at a yawning cage. An early favourite to lead all Olympic players in scoring. Captain of the Colorado Avalanche since 1992.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • More than 20 goals per year in 12 of 13 NHL seasons
  • Played in 1998 Olympics

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Steve YzermanSteve Yzerman, 35, centre - Canada's best two-way player has come on strong this season after undergoing knee surgery in October. While he's as talented offensively as almost anyone, what sets Yzerman aside is his remarkable defensive play. Will take on the best offensive player from the other team at the Olympics and will also take key faceoffs and kill penalties. Probably the most important leader on the team after Lemieux. Captain of the Detroit Red Wings since 1986.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Back to back Stanley Cups with Detroit
  • 18 years in NHL
  • Played in 1998 Olympics

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