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Canada calls Heatley, Spezza

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Team Canada has added some Ottawa Senators red to its world title quest.

Nine players, including Senators forwards Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza, have been added to the Canadian roster for the 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championship, set for May 2-18 in Quebec City and Halifax. Also wearing the red maple leaf at the tournament, Hockey Canada announced today, will be Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mathieu Garon; defencemen Ed Jovanovski (Phoenix) and Brent Burns (Minnesota), and forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Kunitz (both Anaheim).

Selected as alternates were Oilers forward Sam Gagner and Toronto native Mark Giordano, a defenceman who played for Moscow Dynamo of the Russian Super League this season. Two additional defencemen will be named to the playing roster in the coming days.

The selections were made by Team Canada general manager Steve Yzerman and assistant GMs Doug Armstrong and Luc Robitaille.

For Heatley, it'll mark his fifth appearance at a world championship in Team Canada colours. He sparked Canada to back-to-back gold medals in 2003 (seven goals, 10 points) in Finland and 2004 (eight goals, 11 points) in the Czech Republic, and was a member of a silver-medal squad in 2005 in Austria.

Heatley has also represented Canada at the 2006 Turin Olympics and two world junior championships. He led the Senators with 41 goals this season, after recording 50 in consecutive seasons.

Spezza, meanwhile, will make his world championship debut on home soil, but did wear Canadian colours at a pair of world junior tournaments. He was also a Team Canada alternate in Turin.

The Senators centre was the team's top scorer in 2007-08, recording a career-high 92 points.

Team Canada gathered in Quebec City today for a pre-tournament camp. They'll play exhibition games against Finland on Saturday and Russia on Monday.

Canada plays its tournament opener May 2 against Slovenia, then takes on Latvia on May 4 and the U.S. on May 6. All of Canada's preliminary-round games will be played at the Halifax Metro Centre.

The semi-finals (May 16), bronze-medal game (May 17) and gold-medal game (May 18) all are slated for the Pepsi Colisée in Quebec City.

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