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Calls bring different news for Bouwmeester, Hall

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall each received a phone call from Hockey Canada on Tuesday morning.

One brought good news, the other bad as the Canadian Olympic team selections were announced in Toronto.

Bouwmeester, who was left off the Olympic team four years ago in Vancouver, will be on the squad heading to Sochi, Russia in February. Hall will not.

"It's pretty exciting stuff," Bouwmeester said. "It wasn't something I was thinking about or worried about, there are a lot of real good players. I've been on the other side, looking in and it's not a lot of fun.

"It's a great opportunity and it's something that if you have the chance to be a part of, it's something special and it's something you want to take advantage of."

Bouwmeester, 30, was informed of his selection by Blues president of hockey operations Doug Armstrong, who is also on Hockey Canada's management team.

Bouwmeester's defensive partner with the Blues, Alex Pietrangelo, was also named to the Canadian roster.

"In tournaments like that, it's guys from all over the place and when you have someone that you're familiar with, obviously that's going to help," Bouwmeester said. "It's been good right from the time I got here last year, we've played pretty well together. There wasn't a real big transition period. We just kind of tried to play a similar game and it seemed to work out really well."

Bouwmeester has represented Canada at numerous tournaments in the past, but it's the first time he'll compete at the Olympics.

Hall, 22, will have to wait for his opportunity to represent Canada at the Olympics. He was informed by Brad Pascall of the Hockey Canada management group that he failed to make the cut.

"He just left me a voice mail telling me that I had a good start to the year and just pretty much that I wasn't on the team," Hall said. "It's disheartening for sure, but when you look at some of the other guys that were left off the team, it puts it into perspective a little bit. There were so many great players that were left off the team that I don't really feel too bad about it."

Hall leads the Oilers in scoring this season with 16 goals and 41 points in 38 games. He represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships last May.

"There were so many great players that they had to leave off the team and I'm probably down on the list for sure," Hall said. "I knew that it was going to be real tough to be on this team, because there are so many good players at my position."

Even though Hall was left off the Canadian roster, the Oilers will be represented in Sochi with Ales Hemsky [Czech Republic], Anton Belov [Russia] and Martin Marincin [Slovakia].

The Blues have 10 players on their roster heading to Sochi in February. Also among those receiving good news was right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, who was named to the Russian squad Tuesday.

"I'm very excited to represent my country at the Olympics," Tarasenko said. "It was my dream, my parents' dream and my family's dream, and now it's come true.

"It was probably one of the best mornings in my life."

Tarasenko, 22, is in his second year with the Blues. He has 13 goals and 11 assists in 41 games this season.

"Having the Olympics in Russia makes it a little more special, playing them in your home country," Tarasenko said. "My father was in the Olympics in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway, and he's told me all about it. I can't wait to go there. We have a lot of teammates from our team that are going there, it's going to be cool."

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