Spezza, Heatley join Team Canada

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

The Senators' Dynamic Duo is going to help Team Canada dig for gold.

While Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley won't get a chance to hoist a Stanley Cup this spring, Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman will give the Ottawa forwards a chance at another title, inviting them to suit up at next month's world championship in Halifax and Quebec City.

By the time the roster is settled, they may not be the only Senators in the lineup. Yzerman has two spots on the blueline to fill and Ottawa defenceman Chris Phillips is a top candidate.

Eliminated from the playoffs in four games by Pittsburgh last week, Spezza and Heatley didn't waste any time accepting the invitations from Yzerman. Neither were on the ice for the club's practice last night in Quebec, but will join the team in the next two days.

"I don't know if it's going to be good for them after what happened in Ottawa, but we think it's great news for us," said Team Canada coach Ken Hitchcock. "Look, we know that after getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, nobody wants their year to finish on a sour note.

"(Heatley) has had success with Canada in the past and I worked with (Spezza) in 2006 (in Torino) and he didn't get a chance to participate, but he was positive to be around. He's going to get a chance to play here. This is a great opportunity for them to come in and have some success to finish out the year."

Heatley and Spezza won't play together to start the tourney. Hitchcock plans to use Spezza with Rick Nash, while Heatley will play with Eric Staal. Shane Doan and Martin St. Louis are also on board to help bolster the forward ranks.

Also added to the roster yesterday was Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks

" We've got the opportunity to look at some different combinations and we want to see what it looks like," said Hitchcock.

"We've got some flexibility here because of the talent we've got and the response from the players has just been terrific," he said. "A lot of the players eliminated in the first round aren't used to being finished at this time of year and they want to keep playing. The young guys, like Spezza and Heatley, have an eye towards (the) 2010 (Olympics in Vancouver) and want to show what they can accomplish."


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