39 players invited to September camp
DENVER -- Bill Guerin, Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight were among 39 players USA Hockey invited Thursday to its September camp in Colorado Springs, the first step toward selecting a team for next year's Olympics in Turin.
The roster includes four goaltenders, 14 defensemen and 21 forwards, though previous Olympians such as Chris Chelios, Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick and Brian Leetch are not on the list.
"This doesn't represent the players that will be definitely on Team USA," said Don Waddell, general manager of the 2006 U.S. Olympic team. "We didn't feel we needed to bring [some of the older players] to the orientation camp."
Waddell said USA Hockey has contacted many of those players, including Leetch, to explain what is happening with the orientation.
"It's not a tryout camp that we're having," he said. "It's to get the players used to what has to happen at the Olympics."
Waddell said the NHL's regular season will serve as the tryout.
"We don't pick this team. The players will pick this team. They will dictate by their play who should be on this Olympic team," he said.
Dallas teammates Guerin and Modano, who is a free agent, and St. Louis teammates Tkachuk and Weight played on U.S. Olympic teams in 1998 and 2002.
Also invited to the orientation on Sept. 5-8 were 2002 Olympians Chris Drury of Buffalo, Aaron Miller of Los Angeles, Brian Rafalski of New Jersey and Brian Rolston of Minnesota, who helped the United States win a silver medal in Salt Lake City.
"We felt the guys that we brought were guys that would serve us well with some of the younger players," Waddell said.
Waddell said USA Hockey's next move is to select a coach, and he expects to make an announcement by the end of next week.
USA Hockey must submit a preliminary roster of 60-70 players to the International Ice Hockey Federation by Oct. 1, four days before the NHL season begins. The final team must be selected by Jan. 10.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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