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Bouwmeester Selected For Team Canada

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (Getty Images)
Panther defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who scored a career-high 15 goals this season and led all skaters in ice time, was named Tuesday to represent Canada in May at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Halifax and Quebec City.

 
Bouwmeester, a first-round pick by the Panthers in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, was named to the first group of 15 players, announced by Team Canada general manager, Steve Yzerman.
 
“This is another tremendous honor and one that is well deserved for Jay,” Florida Panthers General Manager and Head Coach Jacques Martin said. “He is an extremely dedicated and focused player who continues to improve each season, so it is very gratifying to see him rewarded with another opportunity to play for Team Canada.”
 
Bouwmeester, 24, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, represented the Panthers in the 2006-07 NHL All-Star Game and played for Team Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. He also won silver medals with Canada at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Czech Republic and 2001 World Junior Championship in Moscow.
 
CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada, along with Team Canada general manager Steve Yzerman, announced a first group of fifteen players that will represent Canada at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Halifax and Quebec City. 

TEAM CANADA ROSTER, as of April 7, 2008:

G          Pascal Leclaire              Repentigny, QC             Columbus Blue Jackets
G          Cam Ward*                   Sherwood Park, AB        Carolina Hurricanes

D          Jay Bouwmeester          Edmonton, AB               Florida Panthers
D          Duncan Keith                 Winnipeg, MB                Chicago Blackhawks
D          Steve Staios                  Hamilton, ON                 Edmonton Oilers

F          Jason Chimera*             Edmonton, AB               Columbus Blue Jackets
F          Shane Doan*                 Halkirk, AB                    Phoenix Coyotes
F          Jamal Mayers*               Toronto, ON                   St. Louis Blues
F          Rick Nash*                    Brampton, ON               Columbus Blue Jackets
F          Derek Roy                     Rockland, ON                Buffalo Sabres
F          Patrick Sharp                Thunder Bay, ON           Chicago Blackhawks
F          Martin St. Louis             Laval, QC                      Tampa Bay Lightning
F          Eric Staal*                     Thunder Bay, ON           Carolina Hurricanes
F          Jonathan Toews*            Winnipeg, MB                Chicago Blackhawks
F          Ray Whitney                 Fort Saskatchewan, AB  Carolina Hurricanes


* - players who won the 2007 IIHF World Championship with Canada

Yzerman, along with assistant general managers Doug Armstrong and Luc Robitaille, will now monitor the NHL playoffs over the coming weeks and look to make additions to the roster once the first round of NHL playoffs are completed.

“We are very pleased with the leadership and wealth of international experience that the players named today possess,” said Yzerman.  “We feel that we have a very strong core group of players named today, and we look to supplement our roster over the next few weeks as we monitor the NHL playoff situation.”

Canada’s head coach will be Ken Hitchcock (Sherwood Park, AB/ Columbus, NHL), who will be joined by assistant coaches Pat Burns (St-Henri, QC/ New Jersey, NHL), Mike Johnston (Dartmouth, NS/ Los Angeles, NHL) and Craig MacTavish (London, ON/ Edmonton, NHL).

Team Canada will gather in Quebec City on April 24th for a pre-competition camp consisting of practices and two exhibition games (26th vs. Finland and 28th vs. Russia). Both games will take place at Le Colisée and tickets are on sale now at www.billetech.com, Le Colisée Pepsi ticket office or by calling (418) 691-7211.

EXPERIENCE:
Past World Championship experience (8): Ward (CAR), Bouwmeester (FLA), Chimera (CBJ), Mayers (STL), Nash (CBJ), Staal (CAR), Toews (CHI), Whitney (CAR)

Past international experience:    

World Juniors (6): Leclaire (CBJ), Bouwmeester (FLA), Chimera (CBJ), Nash (CBJ), Roy (BUF), Toews (CHI)

World Cup of Hockey (4): Bouwmeester (FLA), Doan (PHX), Nash (CBJ), St. Louis (TB)

Olympics (5): Bouwmeester (FLA), Doan (PHX), Nash (CBJ), St. Louis (TB), Staal (CAR)

Canada will open up the 2008 IIHF World Championship on May 2nd against Slovenia. TSN/RDS will carry all of Canada’s games (check your local listings for times in your area) and The Fan Radio Network will also be providing radio coverage of Canada at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

The 2008 IIHF World Championship marks the first time that Canada has hosted the IIHF’s marquee event. This year’s Championship has added significance, because the IIHF World Rankings at the conclusion of this year’s World Championship will determine seeding for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Canada heads into the 2008 IIHF World Championship ranked third, behind Sweden and Finland.
 
Bouwmeester is one of several Panthers expected to compete in the World Juniors. Goalie Craig Anderson and winger David Booth will represent Team USA.
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