RALEIGH, NC – Don Waddell, general manager of the United States Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey team, today announced that Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Bret Hedican has been added to the 23-man roster for Team USA in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. Hedican replaces injured Los Angeles Kings defenseman Aaron Miller on the roster. Waddell also announced that Hurricanes forward Matt Cullen was selected as one of three reserve team members for the Olympics, and will also travel to Italy and practice with the American team.
Hedican, 35, has totaled 18 points (5g, 13a) in 51 games for the Hurricanes this season. This will mark the second time he has represented the United States in the Olympics, as he was part of the U.S. team that finished fourth in the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville, France. A St. Paul, Minn., native, Hedican last wore the red, white and blue during the 2001 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships, when he notched two goals and two assists (4 points) in nine games.
Cullen, 29, has scored a career-high 20 goals this season for the Hurricanes, and totaled 34 points (20g, 14a) in 50 games. The Virginia, Minn., native was named to the U.S. team for the 2005 World Championships, but was unable to participate due to an injury. He last represented his country at the 2003 World Championships in Finland, where he had two points (1g, 1a) in six games. Defenseman Paul Martin of the New Jersey Devils and goaltender Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres were the other players named to the ‘taxi’ squad for Team USA.
Team USA plays its first game of the XX Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 15 when it faces Latvia at 3 p.m. EST.
The Carolina Hurricanes complete a four-game road swing on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network) before returning home for their final two home games before the Olympic Break. Carolina takes on the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night at the RBC Center (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network) and the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday at the RBC Center (5 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network). The team will honor all of its representative heading to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games prior to and during the game on Sunday, and the first 18,000 fans in attendance will receive Hurricanes car flags, courtesy of NBC-17 and Quintiles. Individual game tickets for all remaining Hurricanes games at the RBC Center can be purchased at the RBC Center box office, all TicketMaster outlets, by calling 919-834-4000 or via CarolinaHurricanes.com. For information on Hurricanes season-ticket packages and mini-season ticket plans, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES.