TORONTO -- Canadian women's hockey superstar Hayley Wickenheiser, 32, announced Thursday at the Molson World Hockey Summit that the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be her final Olympic appearance with the national team. She, however, did not announce her full retirement from the national team.
Wickenheiser, 32, has played for Team Canada for the past 17 years and has been an integral part of the team's run of three-straight gold medals in Olympic competition, including a championship-game victory over the United States this past February in Vancouver. Wickenheiser captained the Canadians in that tournament.
Wickenheiser was the keynote speaker during Thursday morning's session of the Summit, which focused on how women's hockey could become more competitive in the run-up to Sochi 2014.
She said, in her presentation, that one of her goals leading up to Sochi is to help the rest of the world to Close the gap on Canada and the United States when it comes to international competition.
"I don't want to be asked in Sochi when I come off the ice for the final time as a member of Team Canada, like i was in Vancouver after the gold-medal game, if hockey belongs in the Olympics," she said in Thursday's speech.
That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.
— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4