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Yzerman's latest scouting trip lands in Philadelphia

by Adam Kimelman
PHILADELPHIA -- The latest stop on Steve Yzerman's pre-Olympic tour brought him to Philadelphia on Sunday for the Flyers-Sharks game, where he got to take a first-hand look at a number of players who might fill roster spots on Canada's entry in the Vancouver 2010 Games.
Philadelphia's Chris Pronger, Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter attended the summer orientation camp in Calgary, as did San Jose's Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle.
While it's still early in the 2009-10 season, the roster deadline of Dec. 31 will be here soon enough that Yzerman, the executive director for Canada's men's Olympic team, is ready to begin pondering line combinations.
"We're going to meet in a week or two and as a group start to talk about what does this roster look like, the shape of things," he told "We brought 46 players this summer in, and from this group and a couple others, in the next week we'll start to discuss line combinations and where guys are going to fit, where we see the team at this stage."
Yzerman, along with assistants Doug Armstrong -- who has been in Philadelphia for the last three games, where he got to see candidates from the Flyers as well as the Bruins, Panthers and Sharks -- Kevin Lowe and Ken Holland have taken time from their NHL duties to do their own scouting and evaluating.
"Everybody's been seen live more than once, and several times on television," said Yzerman. "When we get in there we'll be able to talk about where they are after a month of the season."
While Yzerman wouldn't discuss individual players, he did say there were players not invited to the Calgary camp in the running for an Olympic berth. He also said that while he'd like an experienced team, the player's talents will be the biggest factor in them earning a roster spot.
"I think there's a lot of importance in having guys that are experienced veteran players that have played in the Olympics, in the Stanley Cup Playoffs a lot," said Yzerman. "There's a lot of importance in that. We look to have some veteran players on the team and there will be some veteran players. I'm not going to not take a guy because he's young. But I do place value in experience."
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