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USA and Canada Olympic Orientation Updates

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Blueshirt Duo Flying on Day Three

September 7, 2001 - If yesterday was any indication of what the future might hold, Rangers fans may be in for a treat this season as Theoren Fleury and Eric Lindros skated together on a line at Team Canada's orientation camp on Thursday. The duo was paired with the Islanders' Michael Peca in a strong display of speed and passing on Day Three of on-ice workouts at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.

On the Team USA front, the 37 invitees completed their second day of practices where Rangers goaltender Mike Richter looked sharp as he skated and took shots at the Colorado Springs facility.

Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather, who was in Calgary on Thursday, will travel to Kitchener later today to attend the Rangers' week-long Rookie Camp, where the Blueshirt prospects will face the Boston, Toronto and Carolina rookies over the next three days.

Newest Ranger Nets Two in Canada Scrimmage

September 6, 2001 - One day after joining his potential Olympic teammates at Team Canada's Olympic orientation camp in Calgary, Eric Lindros wasted no time putting on an impressive showing during an intrasquad scrimmage on Wednesday.

Skating on a line with Philadelphia's Keith Primeau and San Jose's Owen Nolan, the 6-4 center tallied two goals, beating Colorado's Patrick Roy and Dallas' Ed Belfour with a pair of rockets.

"I felt pretty good, but it's going to get better," #88 said after the scrimmage. "Going through these scrimmages lends itself to getting back into game shape and game awareness. You can practice and power skate all you want, but it's certainly nice to get back."

Team Canada's Executive Director was certainly impressed with the newest Ranger. "The big guy looked good today, didn't he?"

Team USA Built for Speed

September 6, 2001 - Wednesday also marked the first formal on-ice practice at the Team USA Olympic orientation session in Colorado Springs. Brian Leetch, who was the first defenseman named to the Team USA Olympic roster back in March, was paired with Calgary blueliner Phil Housley during the first day of drills. Mike Richter is one of five goaltenders vying for a roster spot for the 2002 Winter Games slated for February.

Team USA and former Rangers Head Coach (1981-1985) Herb Brooks was impressed with the pace of the practice.

"That first group was really jumping," said Brooks with a smile. "They were flying out there. I had some stuff in the lesson plan and I decided I could just skip right over it, those guys were going so good."

Leetch will be making his third appearance in the international tournament, having represented the United States previously in 1988 (Calgary) and 1998 (Nagano). Richter, who was teammates with Leetch in 1988 and 1998 looks to join Nashville's Mike Dunham, who has already been tabbed to the squad.

Fleury, Lindros Hit the Ice

September 5, 2001 - 36 players attending Team Canada's Olympic Training Camp took to the ice Tuesday in Calgary as part of their four-day orientation program. Theoren Fleury, who was officially cleared to play this season by the NHL and NHLPA on Tuesday, and his newest teammate, Eric Lindros, look to earn roster spots for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

Fleury wasted no time returning to the ice. He was the first player out there at Father David Bauer Arena and was glad to be back.

"I was really nervous and didn't know what to expect when I got on the ice," said the 5-6 forward. "But like I've said before, the ice has always been the place where I've been very happy and very comfortable and once I did a couple of laps, I felt pretty good."

Said Lindros of Fleury, "He's in great shape, flying around out there. It's nice to be traded to a team that has a guy like Theo Fleury buzzing around."

Lindros, too, enjoyed the Tuesday workout. "It felt good. I've been ready for this for a long time," he said.
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