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June 29, 2005 - Hockey Canada to announce hockey camp roster

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Hockey Canada to announce hockey camp roster
By NEIL STEVENS

(CP) - Centre Steve Yzerman and defencemen Chris Pronger and Rob Blake, who helped Canada win 2002 Olympic gold but who weren't available for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey because they were recuperating from injuries, are expected to be among the 36 players invited to an orientation camp for the 2006 Winter Games.

In all, 14 men who helped Canada win the men's Olympic title for the first time in 50 years in Salt Lake City, Utah, are expected to be in Kelowna, B.C., Aug. 17-20, CP has learned.

It also is believed that goaltender Martin Brodeur, defencemen Eric Brewer, Adam Foote, Ed Jovanovski and Scott Niedermayer, and forwards Jarome Iginla, Simon Gagne, Ryan Smyth, Mike Peca, Joe Sakic and Mario Lemieux are the other Olympic champions who will attend the Kelowna camp hoping to get a chance to win two straight Olympic titles.

The Hockey Canada camp roster announcement is to be made Thursday.

The ongoing NHL labour dispute has delayed official agreement that NHLers will skate in Turin, Italy, next February, but it is considered a fait accompli.

Roberto Luongo, Jose Theodore and Marty Turco are the other goalies expected to be invited to Kelowna.

Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Boyle, Scott Hannan, Chris Phillips, Wade Redden and Robyn Regehr are likely candidates to round out the defence corps.

Shane Doan, Kris Draper, Dany Heatley, Vince Lecavalier, Kirk Maltby, Patrick Marleau, Brenden Morrow, Rich Nash, Keith Primeau, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Alex Tanguay and Joe Thornton are believed to be the other forwards getting invitations.

Every member of the victorious World Cup of Hockey team is being invited to Kelowna.

For Peca, there's a chance to get back to the Olympics after not being selected for the World Cup.

For Primeau, an invitation would mean a chance to regain a spot among the sport's elite players. He helped Canada win silver in Nagano, Japan, in 1998 but wasn't picked in 2002 or for the World Cup.

Gagne, Nash and Thornton formed a formidable forward line for Canada at the 2005 world championships in Austria, and coach Pat Quinn and his staff will have to seriously consider the feasibility of keeping them together.

Heatley was unimpressive in Austria and, unless he's totally prepared for Kelowna, could be in danger of being relegated below the top echelon of contenders for Olympic lineup spots.

The list of invitees magnifies how quickly big-league stars rise and fall - or just get old.

Paul Kariya, Theo Fleury, Eric Lindros, Al MacInnis, Joe Nieuwendyk, Owen Nolan, Brendan Shanahan, Ed Belfour and Curtis Joseph went to Salt Lake City but none played in the World Cup and none will get another shot at a second gold Olympic medal.

Todd Bertuzzi is not expected to be invited. Until commissioner Gary Bettman decides the big forward's future, the Olympic team is unlikely to take a chance he'll even be available come February.