13 returning from '96 triumph

Updated: May 20, 2004, 8:17 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios and Dallas forward Mike Modano are among 13 players back to defend Team USA's championship in the World Cup of Hockey.

The 26-player roster for this year's veteran-laden squad was announced Thursday by USA Hockey at a news conference at Xcel Energy Center. The team is coached by San Jose's Ron Wilson, who led the Americans to victory at the last World Cup in 1996.

"I think it's a great opportunity, an honor and thrill to be named to the team," Modano said. "There are a lot of players on this roster that are familiar with each other. That will make it easier to play together."

Fourteen members of this year's team won a silver medal in the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics.

Other forwards chosen were Philadelphia's Tony Amonte, Bill Guerin of Dallas, Detroit's Brett Hull, Colorado's Steve Konowalchuk, Boston's Brian Rolston, Ottawa's Bryan Smolinski, Doug Weight and Keith Tkachuk of St. Louis, Jason Blake of the New York Islanders, Calgary's Craig Conroy, Buffalo's Chris Drury, Washington's Jeff Halpern, New Jersey's Jamie Langenbrunner and Philadelphia's Jeremy Roenick.

Other defensemen picked were Detroit's Derian Hatcher and Matthieu Schneider, Toronto's Ken Klee and Brian Leetch, Calgary's Jordan Leopold, Aaron Miller of Los Angeles and New Jersey's Brian Rafalski.

The goalies included Edmonton's Ty Conklin, Philadelphia's Robert Esche and Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders.

The Americans are the defending champions of this event, which last took place in 1996. They beat Canada in a best-of-three series to win the Cup.

The tournament will be held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 14 at several sites in North America and Europe.

Team USA will be placed in the North American Pool along with Canada, Russia and Slovakia. European Pool teams include the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Sweden.

Notes: Minnesota Wild forward Marian Gaborik will play for the Slovak team.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press