Gretz, Lowe expected to head our Oly hopes

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

Hockey Canada is expected to announce today in Edmonton that Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Lowe will head up Canada's 2006 Turin Olympic hockey effort.

A press conference has been called for 11 a.m. at Rexall Place where Hockey Canada will make "a major announcement regarding Canada's 2006 men's hockey team for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games," according to a press notification last night.

"In attendance: Bob Nicholson, president, Hockey Canada; Marc Habscheid, head coach, Canada's national men's team; Johnny Misley, vice-president, hockey operations, Hockey Canada; Kevin Lowe. Wayne Gretzky via teleconference."

Gretzky and Lowe combined with Steve Tambellini to head up Canada's gold-medal win at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games - Canada's first gold since the Edmonton Mercurys.

The trio also combined to lead Canada to the gold-medal win at the World Cup of Hockey last September. Gretzky and Lowe turned down heading the IIHF World Hockey Championship team, eventually headed by Tambellini, which resulted in a silver medal in Vienna.

There has been speculation that one of the very few issues in which the NHLPA has won in recent collective bargaining is Olympic participation.

Meanwhile, 31 Canadian-born players who played in Europe last season and are not under NHL contracts - the players who would form the Olympic team if the NHLers don't - are scheduled to begin an orientation camp in Edmonton this afternoon.


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