February 12, 2006
Pronger, Blake should play

TURIN -- Team Canada should be healthy enough to defend its title.

Hockey Canada officials are confident that defencemen Rob Blake of the Colorado Avalanche and Chris Pronger of the Edmonton Oilers will be healthy enough tomorrow to accompany the team to the Turin Olympics.

Blake left a game Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackers with a groin injury and Pronger had an MRI on Thursday that showed a stress fracture in his foot.

But after discussing the situation with Team Canada assistant general manager Kevin Lowe, Pronger is going to be able to suit up in Italy, while the Canadian medical staff has spoken with Colorado officials and expect Blake to be cleared.

"The bottom line is we want these guys here," Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson said.

Coach Pat Quinn, meanwhile, said Canada will not be looking past its Olympic opener against Italy on Wednesday.

"They'll be charged up. This will be their gold medal game," he said.