Richards, Pronger Olympic Bound For Canada

Today it was announced that both Chris Pronger and captain Mike Richards will represent Team Canada this February at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. For Richards, it will be his first Olympic appearance whereas Pronger will be playing his fourth.

It has been talked about for the past few weeks that Richards was close to being on the bubble due to the Flyers performance the past month. However, director of player personal Steve Yzerman clearly saw what Richards brought to the table regardless of how his team was performing.

The same can be said for Canada’s alternate captain, Pronger. The native of Dryden, Ontario, will be playing Olympic hockey for Canada for the fourth time (1998, 2002, 2006). To the 34-year-old, this never gets old.

“It’s never old,” Pronger said. “It’s always an honor to represent your country and have an opportunity to win a gold medal.”

“I’m very excited about the team,” said Pronger. “It’s got a good mix of veterans and youth, and some guys have been around and played on teams, whether it be on 2006 or 2002, and certainly experience is going to be an important factor I think in the tournament.”

As for the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, Richards will be appearing in his first Winter Olympic Games for Team Canada. A native of Kenora, Ontario, has had international success for Canada before. The 24-year-old was captain of Team Canada at the 2005 World Junior Championships. Canada won the gold medal.

He was a member of Team Canada which captured the silver medal at the 2004 World Junior Championships and the gold medal at the 2002 under-18 Eight Nations Cup.

“It probably won’t hit me ‘til I get there,” said Richards who was a bit surprised at the news of his selection. “This afternoon was a little bit crazy. …I think I got a text message or a call from pretty much everybody in my phone book, and probably a dozen people who I didn’t.”

“It’s exciting to get the opportunity. I had shivers this morning when I found out,” he said.

unfortunately, someone had to be left off the roster. Both Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne will not be participating in the Winter Games. Carter was said to be on bubble, probably didn’t make the team due to his production drop from last year. Not much of a surprise on that selection.

Same with Gagne, who just netted a hat-trick for the Flyers against the Rangers. Gagne, missed a lot of hockey this season most likely will be added if someone gets hurt.

Quotes: CSNPhily

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