COLUMBUS, OHIO - Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash and goaltender Steve Mason are among 46 players who have been invited by Hockey Canada to attend Canada's National Men's Team orientation camp to be held from August 24-27 in Calgary, the club and Hockey Canada announced today. The 46 players have been identified as candidates for upcoming international events in the 2009-10 season, including the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 2010 IIHF World Championship.
Nash, who was a member of the 2006 Canadian Olympic Team, has tallied 194-161-355 and 436 penalty minutes in 441 career games with the Blue Jackets, including a career-high 40-39-79 and 52 penalty minutes in 78 games in 2008-09. The Brampton, Ontario native is a four-time All-Star and has also represented Canada at the 2005, 2007 and 2008 World Championships and the 2002 World Junior Championships.
Mason posted a 33-20-7 record, 2.29 goals-against average, .916 save percentage and league-leading 10 shutouts in 61 games in 2008-09, earning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year. He was also runner-up in voting for the Vezina Trophy, given to the league's top goaltender, earned Second Team NHL All-Star honors and was named to the All-Rookie team. A native of Oakville, Ontario, he was the most valuable player and top goaltender at the 2008 World Junior Championships after going 5-0 with a 1.19 goals-against average, .951 save percentage and one shutout to lead Canada to the gold medal.
The camp roster includes five goaltenders, 16 defensemen and 25 forwards. The list of players includes 40 players with senior international experience, either at the Olympics, IIHF World Championship or World Cup of Hockey/Canada Cup, while 36 of the 46 players played for either the National Junior Team or National Men’s Under-18 Team.
Blue Jackets Head Coach Ken Hitchcock was named an associate coach for the team that will represent Canada at the Olympic Games, joining head coach Mike Babcock and associate coaches Lindy Ruff and Jacques Lemaire. The Hockey Canada management group, comprised of executive director Steve Yzerman, Hockey Canada executive vice-president of hockey operations John Misley, Hockey Canada president/CEO Bob Nicholson and associate directors Doug Armstrong, Ken Holland and Kevin Lowe, assembled the list in collaboration with the coaching staff.
Season tickets for the upcoming 2009-10 Blue Jackets season are on sale now with prices starting at $18 per game. In addition, 10- and 20-game packages for 2009-10 are also on sale. For information, call (800) NHL-COLS or visit BlueJackets.com.
- CBJ -