Youth may serve Canada better: Lemieux

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- Is Mario Lemieux having second thoughts about representing Canada at the 2006 Olympics?

He certainly sounded like a man who was waffling over the subject yesterday, claiming he would step aside for Sidney Crosby or any other player who might be a more worthy candidate.

"I'M NOT SURE"

Asked if he still intended on playing for Team Canada in Turin, Lemieux replied "I'm not sure.

"I haven't talked to Gretz or anyone else in that regard," he added, referring to Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky.

Well known for his pride, Magnificent Mario, who has 20 points in 20 games, wants to earn a spot based on his play in 2005, not his past accomplishments. And if that is not good enough, so be it.

"There are too many good young players in Canada right now," Lemieux said. "To take a spot just because of your name, that wouldn't be right for Team Canada or myself.

PUSHES FOR CROSBY

"I think that they have to look at who is playing well at the time and who can help the most. It's still a little early to say in that regard.

"If I am feeling good and playing well and they want me, well, then I'll be there. But we'll have to see."

Lemieux called on Team Canada officials to give Crosby serious consideration.

Rosters must be submitted by Dec. 22.

"He has been one of the best players in the league, game in and game out," Lemieux said. "They should take a good look at him. It might be a good experience for him to see how it works.

"(Picking Crosby) might pay off in the future."


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