Sunday, July 11, 2004

Yzerman will not play for Hockey World Cup

Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman has confirmed what has been reported for weeks: he will not play in the Hockey World Cup due to the eye injury he suffered in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals. Team Canada's executive director, Wayne Gretzky said in a statement Sunday night
"Steve has indicated that he will be unable to participate in the World Cup of Hockey this summer due to his injury situation and that he felt that he would not be ready to be at the level of conditioning required."
To replace The Captain, the unanimous choice was Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier, one of the key components in his team's Stanley Cup-winning playoff run this year. He was so key, in fact, that many were surprised when Team Canada did not originally select Lecavalier to be on their roster. He is a rising star in the league and while he won't bring nearly the same level of leadership to the table that Yzerman would have brought, his scoring ability won't be a detriment. Canada will still be a very hard team to beat and will definitely be an exciting one to watch. It's a shame that Steve will not be able to play afterall. I admire him for having the decency to bow out, though, knowing that he wouldn't be able to contribute nearly as much as a healthy player. It's a testament to his character and it's not the first time or the last time he's demonstrated that trait. Having won a gold medal in the 2002 Olympics for his country softened the blow, I'm sure.


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