Shooting for Olympics

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza could get a chance to shoot for gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

First they've got a lot of work to do to prove they belong.

St. Louis Blues VP Doug Armstrong -- one of Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman's key decision-makers -- told Sun Media the Senators' dynamic duo will "definitely" be on the list of players up for consideration.

Neither has a spot locked up, however.

Team Canada management will spend a lot of time watching both Heatley and Spezza this season before deciding whether they'll be invited to attend next summer's orientation camp.

"Most definitely (they'll be on the list). They're both excellent players. They both performed well (at the world championships last spring)," said Armstrong, who will also act as GM of the 2009 world championship team.

"A lot can happen between now and the Olympics, but these guys are great players. Heatley played so well (at the worlds) with the number of goals he scored and it's just finding the right chemistry for these players and getting them in the right environment."

Heatley led the tournament with 12 goals, added eight assists and was +13 in nine games. The sniper was named MVP for the second time -- he was also the top player at the 2004 worlds.

"(Heatley and Spezza) have a long time ... to prove to (Yzerman) and the whole staff that they have a strong level of play and that they should be on the team. They've gotten experience by playing in the Stanley Cup finals and we know they can play under the bright lights. You can't speed up the process of making decisions, but they've got a good start."

ANSWERED CALL

After the Senators were swept out of the playoffs by the Penguins in the first round last spring, Spezza and Heatley both answered the call to play for Team Canada at the world championships in Quebec City and Halifax. Both did it with an eye toward playing in Vancouver.

Heatley has plenty of international experience. He has suited up for Team Canada at three worlds (2004, 2005 and 2008), helped Canada win the title at the 2004 World Cup and was a member of the 2006 Olympic team.

As for Spezza, he's building up his international experience and would like to earn more by playing at the Olympics. He played three world junior championships (2000-2002) and was a member of the three-man taxi squad with the 2006 Olympic team in Turin, but didn't play.

"That's a long-term goal of mine. That's probably the only personal goal that I really have is to try to make that team. (But) it's not something I'm overly worried about. I want to prove that I can play on that team and I think that I can help that team out.

"I didn't play a lot at the world championships (last year), but off the ice I learned a lot. I had some good talks with (Yzerman) and I had some good talks with Kevin Lowe and Doug Armstrong and (Craig) MacTavish ... Just being around (Yzerman) was something I think I will get a lot out of. We had some real good talks. He's been through what I'm trying to get to now and it was good to hear it from a guy like that."

Heatley, meanwhile, is ready to represent Canada again.

"It's a different game and it's a different feel playing internationally, but it's not something I'm thinking about right now. When the time comes, I'll definitely switch gears."


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