Brian Leetch to Represent Team USA in 2002 Olympics
/ New York Rangers
USA Hockey announced Saturday that Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch has been selected as one of the first 10 Americans to be named to Team USA for the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rangers all-time scoring leader among defensemen will make the third Olympic appearance of his career when he dons the red, white and blue for Team USA next February.
Under the direction of 1980 Team USA Miracle workers Herb Brooks (who will be behind the bench for the 2002 Games) and current Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager and Team USA Craig Patrick (Brooks' assistant at Lake Placid), the United States also tabbed Tony Amonte, Doug Weight, Bill Guerin, Brett Hull, Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk, Chris Drury, John LeClair and Jeremy Roenick for the squad.
Leetch, 33, has an impressive resume stacked with international hockey accomplishments. The native of Corpus Christi, Texas represented the United States at the 1987 World Junior Championships, where he was named to the First All-Star Team. Leetch then served as a member of the US National Team which performed in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. In 1989, the eight-time NHL All-Star competed in the World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden and was selected as the best player on Team USA. Leetch also represented Team USA in the memorable 1991 Canada Cup tournament.
In one of the finest displays of international competition in recent years, Leetch served as captain of Team USA at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey tournament, leading the club to the tournament championship. The former Boston College defenseman made his second Olympic appearance as an alternate captain for the US Olympic Team at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, where he collected a goal and added an assist in four matches.
*COUNTDOWN TO SALT LAKE December 22 - Deadline for remainder of team to be selected February 9-12 - Preliminary round of competition February 14 - NHL suspends play February 15-24 - Final round of competition