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No edge given to Blackhawks' Olympic hopefuls

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

CALGARY -- The Chicago Blackhawks participating in Canada's national men's team orientation camp this week will have no competitive advantage when it comes to cracking the Olympic roster, coach Mike Babcock said Sunday.

The chemistry between Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews alongside goaltender Corey Crawford will gain the reigning Stanley Cup Champions no special consideration.

"I haven't thought anything about that," Babcock said at a press conference. "Guys that play with us are going to be on the team, guys that can skate and that can take care of the puck and guys that play 200 feet are going to play for us."

Keith, Seabrook and Toews helped Canada to the gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but with no on-ice activities at this camp, the group will have to wait until the NHL regular season to make a lasting impression.

"Obviously this isn't an evaluation camp at all," Babcock said. "This is an opportunity to know one another, get some details of how we're going to play, and understand what it's going to take to be on the team. We'll explain that to them, and then in the end, the management team is going to watch them very closely over the first three months.

"The truth is whoever is playing best will be on the team."

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