Fleury Invited to Canada's Olympic Orientation Session
/ New York Rangers
Rangers right wing Theoren Fleury has been selected as one of 34 Canadian National Hockey League players to be invited to Team Canada's 2002 Olympic orientation session, which will be held September 4 through September 7 at the Canadian Hockey Association's head office in Calgary, Alberta, at the Father David Bauer Olympic Arena. "I'd like to thank Wayne Gretzky, Kevin Lowe, Bob Nicholson, Pat Quinn and the coaching staff for the confidence they've shown in me and for giving me the opportunity to compete for a spot on Team Canada and represent my country in the Olympics for the second time in my career. It's an honor for me to be included in this great group of players."
The orientation session will consist of providing the participants with detailed information regarding the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, including a review of: Olympic preparations, tournament schedule and format, travel and lodging, doping policies, game tickets, coaching philosophies and apparel and equipment fitting.
Fleury, 33, represented Team Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, recording one goal and three assists, along with two penalty minutes in six tournament matches.
Gretzky, Team Canada's Executive Director, said Tuesday that the final 23-man roster will be announced December 22. In making this announcement, Gretzky stressed that not all candidates were invited to the camp, which will be used to educate the players, build team chemistry and provide optional ice time.
"We arrived at a final list of 45 guys and as we went down the list, six of us debated who would be good to invite to this thing, and who we would be comfortable with at this time," said Gretzky, who wanted to limit the number of players to foster a bonding atmosphere for those invited. "I guess you are always going to have controversy.
"This is a starting point. I wouldn't read more into it. We hope we are proven wrong and guys [not on the list] play well enough to be a part of this team. We hope, come October, November and December, that they are playing so well they force us to put them on the team."