|With Columbus Blue Jacket Adam Foote at his side, Wade Redden, one of the best breakout passers in the NHL, will have more opportunity to set up plays and join the rush often.|
by Todd Anderson
After scoring his first goal in four games to clinch a 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Scotiabank Place on Saturday, Senators forward Dany Heatley is lookin for a jolt from a pair of Bolts during the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
If Team Canada's men's hockey practice -- which was held in Mississauga yesterday -- is any indication of what lies ahead, Heatley will be skating with Tampa Bay Lightning stars Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St-Louis at the Olympics. The line could be a dynamic one for Team Canada as Lecavalier and Heatley are enjoying career years. And although St-Louis hasn't been in top form this season, he is coming off a 94-point, MVP season in 2003-04.
On defence, Heatley's teammate, Wade Redden, skated along with Columbus Blue Jackets captain Adam Foote. With Foote at his side, Redden, one of the best breakout passers in the NHL, will have more opportunity to set up plays and join the rush often. Foote has a reputation as one of the NHL's top stay-at-home defencemen. With lingering injuries to Team Canada veterans Rob Blake and Chris Pronger, Redden and Foote could see lots of ice time in Turin.
Also yesterday in Mississauga, Jason Spezza practised with fellow taxi-squad mate Eric Staal and the 21st forward, Shane Doan.
Meanwhile in the Czech Republic camp in Turin, Dominik Hasek had to make special arrangements in order to participate in his country's practice yesterday. Hasek made the trip to Turin without incident, but the same could not be said for his equipment. Somewhere along the way there was a mishap and Hasek's equipment didn't arrive in time for practice. Hasek was able to practice after borrowing equipment from Jim Corsi, who served as his goalie coach with the Buffalo Sabres and now fills that role with Team Italy.
Nine players at the Winter Olympics will represent the Ottawa Senators. Joining Heatley, Redden, Spezza and Hasek are: defenceman Christoph Schubert of Germany; right-winger Daniel Alfredsson, Sweden; defenceman Anton Volchenkov, Russia; and defencemen Zdeno Chara and Andrej Meszaros, Slovakia.
Tomorrow's opening-day schedule features: Kazakhstan vs Sweden, Italy vs Canada, Switzerland vs Finland, Germany vs Czech Republic, Russia vs Slovakia and Latvia vs USA.
Canada is the reigning gold-medal champion in men's hockey, defeating the United States in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Hasek is the only current Senators player to have won a gold medal in Olympic competition. He backstopped the Czech Republic to gold during the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan. He played in two other Olympics in 1988 and 2002.
Alfredsson, Chara and Schubert have represented their countries in the past two events. Making their Olympic debuts are Meszaros, Volchenkov, Heatley, Spezza and Redden.
Below is an outline of international hockey experience for this year's crop of Senators Olympians.
Andrej Meszaros, Slovakia
World senior championship, 2004; youngest player on both world junior and world senior teams in 2004
World U20 junior championship, 2005, 2004; team captain in 2005 in Grand Forks, N.D.
World U18 junior championship, 2002; won silver as team captain in Yaroslavl, Russia
Anton Volchenkov, Russia
World Cup, 2004; played just one game because of ankle injury
World senior championship, 2002; won silver
World U20 junior championship, 2002, 2001; scored game-winning goal in gold medal game against Canada in 2002 in Czech Republic
World U18 junior championship, 2000; won silver
Christoph Schubert, Germany
Olympics, 2002; lost in quarter-final at Salt Lake City
World Cup, 2004
World senior championship (tier II group), 2000
World U20 (tier II group) junior championship, 2000
Daniel Alfredsson, Sweden
Olympics, 2002, 1998
World Cup, 2004, 1996; tied for tournament lead with six assists in 2004.
World senior championship, 2005, 2004, 2001, 1999, 1996, 1995; won silver in 1995 and 2004 and bronze in 2001
Dany Heatley, Canada
World Cup, 2004; won gold
World senior championship, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002; won gold in 2003 and 2004 and silver in 2005.
World U20 junior championship, 2001, 2000; won bronze both years.
Dominik Hasek, Czech Republic
Olympics, 2002, 1998, 1988; won gold in 1998 in Nagano, Japan
World senior championship, 1990, 1989, 1987, 1986, 1983;
Jason Spezza, Canada
World U20 junior championship, 2002, 2001, 2000; won silver in 2002 and bronze in other two years.
Wade Redden, Canada
World Cup, 2004; won gold
World senior championship, 2005, 2001, 1999; won silver in 2005 and bronze in 1999.
World U20 junior championship, 1996, 1995; won gold both years.
Zdeno Chara, Slovakia
World Cup, 2004
World senior championship, 2005, 2004, 2001, 2000, 1999; won silver in 2000, team captain in 2001.