Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Rick Nash and defenseman Adam Foote are among 81 potential players for Canada's men's hockey team that will compete at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. Team Canada Executive Director Wayne Gretzky along with Head Coach Pat Quinn and Team Canada's management and coaching staff, announced the list today.
Nash, 21, has appeared in just one game with the Blue Jackets this season due to an ankle injury. He won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2005 World Championships, leading the tournament in goals and ranking second in points with 9-6-15 in nine games. He won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy in 2003-04 and at age 19 became the youngest player in NHL history to lead the league in goals as he notched 41-16-57 in 80 games with Columbus. The Brampton, Ontario native also made his All-Star Game debut that season.
Foote, 34, has represented Canada at the past two Winter Olympic Games in 1998 and 2002, winning a gold medal at the latter in the Salt Lake City. He also won gold and silver medals at the World Cup of Hockey Tournaments in 2004 and 1996, respectively. He has tallied 0-2-2 and 10 penalty minutes in six games this season, his first with the Blue Jackets after spending 13 seasons with the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques organization. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Foote has logged 805 career NHL games with 55-181-236 and 1,150 penalty minutes and won two Stanley Cup championships in 1996 and 2001.
During the IIHF Olympic Meetings in Portugal on September 15, 2005, the IOC, IIHF, NHL, NHLPA and all participating men's hockey countries came to an agreement, which determined that each country had until October 24th to submit a long list of players to the IIHF, NHL and NHLPA. All participating countries are required to select their final men's hockey rosters of 23 players on or before December 22nd. Canada's long list of 81 Canadian NHL players submitted on Wednesday includes nine goaltenders, 23 defensemen and 49 forwards.
The Blue Jackets return to action on Friday at Nationwide Arena, hosting the San Jose Sharks at 7 p.m. Television coverage of Friday's game on FSN Ohio begins with the IceBreaker pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. The game also will be broadcast live on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM Sports Radio 1460 the Fan and WWCD-FM, CD101.