Team Canada out of Allison's mind

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

Jason Allison probably gets more excited shaving his scruffy beard in the morning than he is at the prospect of making the Canadian Olympic team.

You could say that the veteran forward was underwhelmed when informed by the Toronto Sun yesterday of his inclusion on the list of 81 players who will be considered for Team Canada.

"I didn't even know I was on there," Allison said.

"I don't have any expectations with any of that. I was a pretty high scorer the year before (the 2002 Games) and never even got a sniff, so it's not even on my mind."

Allison was referring to the 2000-01 season, one in which he racked up 95 points for the Boston Bruins.

Team Canada coach Pat Quinn said Allison was, in fact, considered a candidate for the '02 team at the time, as were the other four Leafs who made this year's list -- Eric Lindros, Eddie Belfour, Jeff O'Neill and Bryan McCabe.

Of that group, only Lindros and Belfour made the final cut for Salt Lake City, where Canada ended its 50-year gold-medal drought.

But that doesn't mean the Big E is doing cartwheels at the opportunity to repeat that performance, this time in Turin, Italy.

"Isn't everyone on that '02 team on (this year's list)?" Lindros said sarcastically, causing guffaws from the reporters surrounding him.

On a more serious note, Lindros said there are some definite shoo-ins to make Team Canada despite the large number of players included on the list.

"I would have Mario (Lemieux), not just in pencil, but in ink," Lindros said. "If I were a mason I would have it in stone. Marty Brodeur is the same way.

"But if they are hurt and can't play, what happens then? It happened in '98 when Paul Kariya couldn't go. There are a lot of injuries that take place during the course of the year."

O'Neill and McCabe represented Canada at the 1995 world junior tournament but are not holding their breath that they'll be reunited in Turin.

Belfour, meanwhile, did not see any action in Salt Lake City, occupying the No. 3 spot behind Brodeur and Curtis Joseph.


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