CALGARY, ALBERTA – Hockey Canada announced on Thursday the thirty six Canadian National Hockey League players that have been invited to attend Canada’s Men’s Olympic Orientation Camp that will run from August 15-20, 2005 in Vancouver and Kelowna, BC. All 36 players were under NHL contracts for the 2003-04 season.
The orientation session will consist of providing the players with detailed information regarding the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, including a review of: Olympic preparations, tournament schedule and format, travel and lodging, doping policies, coaching philosophies, apparel and equipment fitting, and daily on ice sessions.
The thirty six players were selected by Team Canada’s Executive Director, Wayne Gretzky, Assistant Executive Director, Kevin Lowe, Director of Player Personnel, Steve Tambellini, and Director of Player Development, Blair MacKasey in conjunction with the coaching staff. Team Canada’s management and coaching staff will oversee the camp which will start in Vancouver, BC on August 15 and then move to Kelowna, BC for four days concluding on August 20.
Team Canada’s coaching staff will remain the same as the 2002 Olympics and 2004 World Cup of Hockey with the addition of National Team Head Coach Marc Habscheid. Head Coach Pat Quinn (Toronto Maple Leafs) will be assisted by associate coaches Ken Hitchcock (Philadelphia Flyers), Jacques Martin (Florida Panthers), Wayne Fleming (Philadelphia Flyers), and Marc Habscheid (National Men’s Team).
“As a coaching staff, we are excited about the opportunity to work with such a great group of athletes again,” stated Head Coach, Pat Quinn. “The commitment these players make to represent their country is second to none and that is why Canada has continued to be in the upper echelon of International hockey.”
Of the thirty six players invited to the Orientation Camp, 19 players took home silver at the 2005 IIHF World Championship, 26 players won the 2004 World Cup of Hockey with Canada, and 14 players were Olympic gold medalists in 2002 in Salt Lake City.
“Our management and coaching staff feel that this is a perfect opportunity to bring the players together and start focusing on the upcoming Olympics in Torino,” said Executive Director, Wayne Gretzky. “We are very pleased with the depth we have in this country, and there are players outside this group of 36 that we will continue to evaluate as we get closer to the Olympics in February before any final decisions are made.”
The full orientation session schedule and further details regarding access to the practice sessions will be released in the near future.
For more information on Canada’s Men’s National Team, please visit the official web site at www.hockeycanada.ca