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Another veteran, Weinrich, gets the nod

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Team USA will be without the
veteran leadership of defenseman Derian Hatcher for the upcoming
World Cup of Hockey, which begins Aug. 30.

Hatcher, a 13-year NHL veteran who was on the American squad
that won the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996, has
withdrawn from the 2004 event for personal reasons.

Eric Weinrich, a 16-year NHL veteran and nine-time member of the U.S. Men's National Team, has been chosen to take his place. Weinrich finished last season with the St. Louis Blues.

As a member of the Dallas Stars in 2002-03, Hatcher ranked
fifth in the NHL with a plus-minus rating of plus-37,
earning consideration for the Norris Trophy as the best
defenseman in the NHL.

Known for his hard-nosed style of defense, Hatcher was
signed by the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent last
summer but suffered a torn ACL in his right knee and
played in only 15 games last season.

Hatcher, 32, has produced 71 goals, 227
assists and 1,388 penalty minutes in 842 NHL games with
the Stars and Red Wings. He also played for the United
States in the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano.

"We are disappointed that Derian will not be a member of
this team," Team USA general manager Larry Pleau said.
"But with Eric's addition to the roster, Team USA is
receiving a highly proven veteran on defense who
possesses outstanding leadership skills and international
experience."

Weinrich, 37, recorded two goals and eight assists in 26 games
with the Blues last season. He spent the first 54 games of the
2003-04 campaign with the Philadelphia Flyers, producing two
goals and seven assists.

In 1,082 career NHL games with seven teams, Weinrich has posted
69 goals, 302 assists and 773 penalty minutes.

The United States will begin competition against Canada on
Aug. 31 after three exhibition games.