USA Hockey invites 23 players to Olympic camp

Thursday, August 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ Derian Hatcher of Dallas and Scott Gomez of New Jersey were among 23 additional NHL players invited to camp next month for the U.S. Olympic hockey team.

Fourteen players already had been named to the team that will compete at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City in February.

The orientation camp is Sept. 4-7 at the Olympic training center. It will introduce players to the staff and provide information on drug testing and Olympic procedures.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios was picked earlier this month as team captain. He also served as captain of the 1998 Olympic team in Nagano, Japan.

Among those joining Chelios on the 23-player team are Bill Guerin, Brett Hull, John LeClair, Brian Leetch, Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight. Nine spots remain open.

USA Hockey, the sport's governing body, said players from outside the 37-man camp roster will be considered for Salt Lake City.

There has been considerable debate in hockey about the preparation for Olympic teams. Under a recent agreement with the NHL Players' Association, teams are allowed a minicamp as long as it does not last more than two days on the ice, with another two days for travel.

Five goaltenders were among the invitations Thursday: Robert Esche, Phoenix; Mike Dunham, Nashville; Brent Johnson, St. Louis; Damian Rhodes, Atlanta; and Mike Richter, New York.

The nine defensemen were: Hal Gill, Boston; Hatcher, Dallas; Bret Hedican, Florida; Phil Housley, Calgary; Aaron Miller, Los Angeles; Tom Poti, Edmonton; Mathieu Schneider, New York; David Tanabe Carolina; and Eric Weinrich, Philadelphia.

The nine forwards were: Adam Deadmarsh, Los Angeles; Gomez, New Jersey; Mike Grier, Edmonton; Jeff Halpern, Washington; Darby Hendrickson, Minnesota; Steve Konowalchuk, Washington; Todd Marchant, Edmonton Oilers; Shawn McEachern, Ottawa; and Bryan Smolinski, Los Angeles.