Canada's finest keen to impress at ice hockey camp

Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:52am EDT
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By Steve Keating

CALGARY (Reuters) - It is the height of the Canadian summer but ice hockey fever has come early to the Great White North, as 46 of the country's finest try to convince coaches they are worthy of a spot on the team for the Vancouver Olympics.

The players have been called to Calgary this week for a four-day orientation camp, with only 23 eventually making it on to Team Canada.

The 2010 Olympic lineup will not be revealed by Executive Director Steve Yzerman until December, but the players know it is never too early to make a good impression.

"Right now, we're a great group of talent," coach Mike Babcock told reporters. "We have to become a great team.

"That's basically what we told them. We talked a lot about 200-foot players.

"What that means to me is simply one word -- trust. That we have to trust them everywhere in the rink if they want to be on our team."

Babcock said the players had everything to prove and no one could be considered a lock for a spot on the team.

"The competition for jobs in all areas of this team are up for grabs," he added. Not for one second could I tell you who is going to be on this team. I couldn't do that."   Continued...