Puck stops here, Canada searches for Olympic netminder

Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:35pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

CALGARY (Reuters) - Like a great actor, New Jersey Devils netminder Martin Brodeur rarely auditions for roles -- he accepts them.

With a resume boasting an Olympic gold medal from the 2002 Winter Games, three Stanley Cups and four Vezina trophies as the NHL's top goaltender, Brodeur, if healthy, is one of the few players at a four-day orientation camp for Canada's ice hockey team virtually guaranteed a place at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

However, the 37-year-old, who also has more career wins than any other NHL goalie, will leave the camp on Friday not knowing whether he will get the main part or a supporting role.

With four others battling for the goaltending spotlight, Brodeur will have to be at his All-Star best in the months leading up to the Olympic Games.

"Every time you participate in a camp like this, with talent like there is here, it's hard to have the feeling that you have the job," Brodeur told reporters after practice on Wednesday.

"Everybody is there to take it away. I was never really backup all my life, I'm not going to go and do that now."

Vancouver Canucks' Roberto Luongo -- Brodeur's backup at the 2006 Turin Olympics -- has long been tipped as his eventual successor and whether that moment arrives in February remains to be seen.

Three other goaltenders -- Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins), Cam Ward (Carolina Hurricanes) and Steve Mason (Columbus Blue Jackets) are also battling for one of three spots on the Canadian roster.   Continued...

<p>Goalie Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils makes a save during the White team's practice at Team Canada's Olympic hockey training camp in Calgary August 26, 2009.REUTERS/Todd Korol</p>