USA hockey team bolsters defence

Add Whitney, Gleason to roster

By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

NEWARK - Mike Komisarek and Paul Martin are out, Ryan Whitney and Tim Gleason are in.

With injuries to Komisarek (shoulder) and Martin (arm) wiping out their Olympic dreams, Team USA acted quicky Thursday in replacing them with Whitney and Gleason, two big physical defencemen.

"Both players were prominant when we were picking the team... We are very pleased that they are joining us," Team USA general manager Brian Burke said Thursday.

"They were both knocking on the door all along."

Gleason, who plays for the Carolina Hurricanes, has played for Team USA three times, most recently at the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Men's Championship.

He is also a two-time member of the U.S. National Junior Team (2001, 2003) and has compiled two assists in 14 games played in a Team USA uniform.

Through 48 games this season, Gleason has netted 15 points (5-10) and ranks sixth among American-born defensemen in hits (119) and eighth in blocked shots (89). For his career, Gleason has totaled 80 points (12-68) in 380 games played with the Los Angeles Kings and Hurricanes.

A two-time U.S. National Junior Team member at the IIHF World Junior Championship (2002, 2003), Whitney has also played for the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2001 IIHF World Men's Under-18 Championship, collecting nine points (2-7) in 20 games in a Team USA uniform. In 2000-01, he played for the U.S. National Under-18 Team, part of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, and registered 40 points (9-31).

Whitney is in his fifth NHL season and first full season with the Anaheim Ducks after being traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. Through Feb. 3 games, he ranks tied for fourth among American-born defensemen in power-play goals (3), seventh in assists (20) and tied for seventh in points (24). For his career, Whitney has registered 184 points (38-146) in 330 games with the Penguins and Ducks.

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