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Drury, Callahan make U.S. Olympic team

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Rangers captain Chris Drury will be taking part in his third Olympic Games next month at Vancouver.

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Rangers captain Chris Drury and alternate captain Ryan Callahan will be joining Blueshirts teammates Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Drury and Callahan, both forwards, were among 23 players named to the Team USA squad following Friday's NHL Winter Classic game between the Bruins and Flyers at Boston's Fenway Park. Boston won that game 2-1 in overtime.

Drury, 33, will be making his third trip to the Olympics, having played for the U.S. team in 2002 and 2006. Drury has three assists and two penalty minutes in 12 career Olympic games. He won a silver medal with Team USA in 2002.

Alternate captain Ryan Callahan made the U.S. Olympic team just three seasons after turning pro.
Callahan, 24, will be competing in the Olympics for the first time. The native of Rochester, N.Y.,  will be making his Olympic debut just under three years after breaking into the NHL late in the 2006-07 season.

Callahan, who scored a career-high 22 goals and 40 points in 2008-09, has nine goals and 19 points in 40 games this season.

Named an alternate captain prior to the season-opener, Callahan has been one of the hardest-working players on a nightly basis and has contributed energy on every shift. He leads the Rangers and ranks fourth overall in the NHL with 139 hits.

When the Olympics begin at Vancouver in mid-February, Callahan and Drury won't be the only Rangers representatives on Team USA. Blueshirts head coach John Tortorella is an assistant coach on the Olympic team and will also be taking part in his first Olympic Games.

On Thursday, shortly before the Rangers beat the Hurricanes 2-1 at Carolina, Tortorella said his position as an assistant coach wasn't a factor in Callahan's making the team.

"His game speaks for itself and now he's got the scoring going with all the other pieces he has to offer," Tortorella said of Callahan. "He doesn't need my help one way or the other."

In making Team USA, Callahan and Drury become the first Rangers players to represent the U.S. at the Olympics since Brian Leetch, Mike Richter and Mike York all played for the 2002 silver medalists at Salt Lake City.

Callahan's journey from major-junior hockey to the Olympics in just four years was a remarkable one. A fourth-round draft pick in 2004 who wasn't even recruited by any major U.S. colleges, Callahan entered the Ontario Hockey League as the final pick of the Guelph Storm in 2001 and went on to score 130 goals over his four seasons in the OHL. He spent the bulk of the 2006-07 season with the Rangers' AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack before getting the call up to the NHL.

Just over two weeks ago on Dec. 17 against the Islanders in Uniondale, Callahan recorded a career-high four-point game with two goals and two assists in a rousing 5-2 victory. Callahan's previous international experience with Team USA includes participation in the 2005 World Junior Championships.

Drury, a native of Trumbull, Conn., has five goals and nine assists in 35 games this season, having missed five games due to a concussion he suffered at Calgary on Nov. 7. He has three points in his last four games and has been one of the Rangers' top penalty killers this season.

Drury and Callahan's U.S. teammates at forward will be Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, Jamie Langenbrunner, Joe Pavelski, Paul Stastny, Ryan Malone, Phil Kessel, Dustin Brown, Ryan Kesler, David Backes and Bobby Ryan.

The Team USA defensemen are Brian Rafalski, Paul Martin, Ryan Suter, Mike Komisarek, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson and Brooks Orpik.

The U.S. goalies in Vancouver will be Buffalo's Ryan Miller, Boston's Tim Thomas and Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings.

Earlier this week, Lundqvist was named to Team Sweden and Gaborik to Team Slovakia. Both are returning to the Olympics after having played at Torino, Italy, in 2006. Lundqvist's Swedish squad is the defending gold medalist.
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