Worlds on a string

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

Chris Phillips wants something Wade Redden already has.

And that would be a phone call asking him to play hockey for his country.

Redden received such a call yesterday, when he was invited to play for Team Canada at next month's world championship in Austria.

Phillips can only hope his call is coming soon.

Whether the Senators blueliners line up as teammates for their country remains to be seen, Redden is thrilled he's going.

"I got the call (yesterday from Team Canada GM Steve Tambellini) and I'm looking forward to going," Redden, who has not played hockey during the NHL lockout but was a member of last fall's World Cup-winning team, told The Team 1200. "I'm going to have to get to work to get ready."

Phillips, meanwhile, told the Sun yesterday if he gets a call from Tambellini, he won't hesitate accepting an invite.

'INTERESTED'

"The ultimate goal is to play for Canada at the (2006) Olympics in Italy and this would be the last chance to get the exposure you need internationally to get that opportunity," Phillips said last night from Gavle, Sweden.

"This is something I've discussed with my family in case the opportunity presents itself. I've been in Europe most of the year, but it's definitely something I'd be interested in being a part of. I've competed for Canada before at world junior championships and the world championships and that's always a great experience. It would be exciting."

Senators centre Mike Fisher, who has been playing this season in Switzerland, is also expected to get some consideration.

Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, Tambellini, assistant GM Ken Holland and coach Marc Habscheid were huddled late Tuesday in a conference call discussing Canada's potential roster for the worlds.

Phillips and Fisher are attractive options because both have been playing during the lockout. Fisher, who signed with Zug, was a candidate for last year's World Cup squad.

GM NOT WORRIED

Tambellini isn't concerned about guys like Redden who have not played this season.

"Even if guys haven't played, that doesn't mean they can't play for Canada," said Tambellini.

"We feel that we can put together a program and a training camp that can help to get these guys ready to go. These guys are professionals and we know that these players are going to make themselves ready. We're going to assess where the players from the World Cup are at and go from there."

NOTES: Tambellini also has to assemble the rest of the coaching staff and there's some rumblings Canadiens coach Claude Julien, an Ottawa native, could be named one of Hascheid's assistants. Julien coached Canada at the world junior championship in 2000 ... Asked about the possibility of adding junior stars Sidney Crosby and Dion Phaneuf to the world roster, Tambellini replied: "We're looking at all our options."


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