Ready to represent

ROB LONGLEY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

EDMONTON -- When it comes to patriotic support, he bleeds red, white and blue, but Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek is getting caught up in the Canadian Olympic hype.

He can't miss it whenever he turns on the television in Toronto or in the team's dressing room, where there has been heated debate as to who will be named to Team Canada today.

"When you grow up, you dream about playing in the NHL and competing for the Stanley Cup and then having the opportunity to play for your country on the Olympic stage," Komisarek said yesterday. "It's not something many get to do. It's an honour and a privilege."

The U.S. team won't officially be unveiled until New Year's Day during the NHL's Winter Classic in Boston. But it is a lock that both Komisarek and Leafs forward Phil Kessel will be on the roster -- Toronto and Team U.S.A. coach Ron Wilson as much as admitted so here yesterday.

"I think pretty much everybody on our team knows who is going, they're just waiting for the official announcement," Wilson said following the Leafs practice at Rexall Place. "I think Phil Kessel knows pretty well and probably Mike Komisarek that they are more than likely on the team. They have been talked to a lot about it."

With the added emphasis of an Olympics in North America, Komisarek figures it will be a special feeling to represent his country.

"Wearing a U.S. sweater is a chance to represent all those people and honour all those people who helped you along the way," Komisarek said. "Your coaches, your friends, your family ... the people who got you to where you are today.

"It's pretty neat to see the emotion around it and how much of a topic the Olympics are right now. It's an amazing tournament."

ROB.LONGLEY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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