Remembering the 2002 Olympics

The 2002 Winter Olympics were special, and it was the one year where the Olympic results really showed how good a hockey country you were… ok with the exception of Belarus… and you could prolly switch places for the USA, and Russia, but does everyone remember what a fun tournament that was?I was not quite ten yet, and it’s funny, last year, when people were saying Canada didn’t have a chance, I believed we’d win, and I was right, and this year when people said we’d dominate I said we’d lose bad, and we did… being right is very fun, especially when it happens alot.

The final standings were…

Gold – Canada

Silver- USA

Bronze- Russia

4th Belarus

5th Sweden

6th Finland

7th Czech

8th Germany

Now, this really is how I believe countries rank/ranked as hockey countries.

1. Canada

2. Russia

3. USA

4. Sweden

5. Czech

6. Finland

7. Slovakia

8. Swittzerland

So who were those players who played for Canada’s mens hockey team?

91 Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche-Colorado Avalanche, Burnaby BC)

GP 6 G 4 A 3 PTS 7

-Sakic had an unbelievable Olympics, and was named tournament MVP, Sakic scored 2 goals in the final game, including the game winner. Sakic is currently still playing with the Colorado Avalanche, and after comming second in the league in points last year, has dropped off a bit, comming 13th ammong Canadians so far. Joe Sakic returned to the Olympics and 2006 as Captain of the team.

66 Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins-Retired, Montreal PQ)

GP 5 G 2 A 4 PTS 6

-Mario had a good Olympics, at more then a point per game, and Captained the Olympic team to Gold. Mario missed the bad 5-2 loss to Sweden, but played in the rest of the tournament, including a game against the Czechs (tie 3-3) where he scored twice. Mario is currently retired, and last played for Canada at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

19 Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings- Detroit Red Wings, Napean ON)

GP 6 G 2 A 4 PTS 6

-Steve was apparently an outstanding leader in the Canada dressing room, and reportedly gave a real touchy feely speech during the games and rallied the troops and got them back on track. Steve Yzerman twice since the Olympics decided to opt out of the Canadian team, including the 2004 World Cup, and the 2006 Olympics.

12 Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames-Calgary Flames, Edmonton AB)

GP 6 G 3 A 1 PTS 4

-Iginla scored 2 goals in the final game against the US, and was actually a late addition to the Orientation camp. Iginla is still currently playing for the Calgary Flames and played for Canada in the 2004 World Cup, and the 2006 Olympics.

9 Paul Kariya (Anaheim Might Ducks- Nashville Predators, Vancouver BC)

GP 6 G 3 A 1 PTS 4

-Paul Kariya was part of one of Canadas top lines along with Steve Yzerman, and Mario Lemieux. Kariya scored Canada’s first goal in the final game against the USA, and a beauty at that. Kariya has had a bad year since the Olympics (2004) when he played with the Colorado Avalanche, although the other years since then (this year and 2003) have been fine. Oddly enough Kariya’s last 3 years have all been better then the 2002 year he played on the Olympic team, and yet he hasn’t played for Canada since.

21 Simon Gagne (Philadelphia Flyers – Philadelphia Flyers, Ste Foy PQ)

GP 6 G 1 A 3 PTS 4

-Gagne has improved quite a bit since the 2002 Olympics, and has evolved into one of the NHL’s best goal scorers. Gagne, still playing withe Flyers made the 2004 World Cup team, the 2005 World Championship team, and the 2006 World Cup team, and will likely be a key part of team Canada for years to come.

4 Rob Blake (Colorado Avalanche – Colorado Avalanche, Simcoe ON)

GP 6 G 1 A 2 PTS 3

-Blake has been a key part of team Canada for years, and was perfect in 2002, not a single goal was scored well Rob was on the ice. Blake had to pull out of the 2004 World Cup, and returned in 2006 for the Olympic team. Blake is still playing with the Avalanche, and started off with a very slow year this year.

11 Owen Nolan (San Jose Sharks- Free Agent (Toronto Maple Leafs) Thurold ON)

GP 6 G 0 A 3 PTS 3

-Nolan had a solid Olympics playing on a line with Eric Lindros and Ryan Smyth, collecting 3 assists, and adding a key physical presence to Canada’s Olympic effort. Nolan was traded for Alyn McCauley, Brad Boyes, and a 1st rounder to Toronto, he recently was involved in a contract dispute there, and is currently a free agent. Nolan hasn’t played for Canada since.

55 Ed Jovanovski (Vancouver Canuckcs- Vancouver Canucks, Windsor ON)

GP 6 G 0 A 3 PTS 3

-Jovanovski was a solid 5th/6th defenseman for Canada, and has stayed a solid defender for the Canucks ever since. Jovanovski, still with Vancouver, was a member of the 2004 World Cup team as well as the 2005 World Championships, and was selected to the 2006 Olympic team, but pulled out due to injury.

3 Eric Brewer (Edmonton Oilers- St Louis Blues, Vernon BC)

GP 6 G 2 A 0 PTS 2

-Eric was a solid 7th defenseman for Canada at the 2002 Olympics. Brewer was traded to St Louis recently in the Chris Pronger deal, Brewer will likely get alot of consideration for the 2010 Olympic team, and if there’s a 2008 World Cup, that too. Since the Olympics he’s played in the 2004 World Cup, as well as the 2002, 2003, and 2004 World Championships, winning 2 of the 3 Wolrd Championships tournaments.

25 Joe Nieuwendyk (Dallas Stars – Florida Panthers, Whitby Ontario)

GP 6 G 1 A 1 PTS 2

-Nieuwendyk was a solid player for Canada in the 02 Olympics, scoring once against Domonik Hasek and the Czechs for Canada. Since the Olympics Nieuwendyk has been traded to New Jersey, and then has moved to both Toronto, and Florida via free agency. Nieuwendyk has not played in an international tournament since the 02 Olympics.

27 Scott Niedermayer (New Jersey Devils – Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Cassiar BC)

GP 6 G 1 A 1 PTS 2

-Niedermayer won the 2004 Norris trophy, and was a key player for Canada in the 2002 Olympics. Niedermayer left New Jersey to join his brother Rob in Anaheim in 2005, and won the 2004 World Cup with Canada, he also played in the 2004 World Championships, and was selected to the 2006 Olympic team, but was forced to pull out due to injury.

37 Mike Peca (New York Islanders- Edmonton Oilers, Toronto ON)

GP 6 G 0 A 2 PTS 2

-Peca was a great checker for Canada in the 2002 Olympics, filling a role that Keith Primeau held before him, and Kris Draper fills now. Peca was traded to Edmonton for Mike York in the hectic summer of 2005, and hasn’t played for Canada since the 2002 Olympics.

74 Theoren Fleury (New York Rangers- Belfast Giants (Ireland), Oxbow SK)

GP 6 G 0 A 2 PTS 2

-Theoren took a beating in the 02 Olympics, and had to face some tough calls against him. He was a risk for the team, because of his drug problems, but Wayne Gretzky was willing to take that risk, and now he played a key role for Canada in the Olympics. Fleury has had some off ice troubles since the Olympics, he signed with Chicago, and has been suspended indefinately by the NHL because of violating his probation by going to a strip club with a couple of Blackhawks team mates. Fleury has not played for Canada since, and is now playing in th British Elite league with the Belfast “Gaints”, a strange team for the 5’6 Theoren Fleury.

52 Adam Foote (Colorado Avalanche – Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto ON)

GP 6 G 1 A 0 PTS 1

-Adam Foote was a top defenseman for Canada at the Olympics. Foote signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the summer of 2005, and has played for Canada in the 2006 Olympics, and the 2004 World Cup, where he was Canada’s top defenseman, and had the teams best plus minus.

88 Eric Lindros (New York Rangers- Toronto Maple Leafs, London ON)

GP 6 G 1 A 0 PTS 1

-Eric had a solid tournament, while performing well early, was not noticable in the medal rounds, playing on a line with Ryan Smyth, and Owen Nolan. Eric Lindros signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs this past summer, and hasn’t played for Canada since the Olympics.

14 Brendan Shanahan (Detroit Red Wings,- Detroit Red Wings, Mimico ON)

GP 6 G 0 A 1 PTS 1

-Brendan was actually added to the Orienation a little later then most in 2001, because Canada wanted to have enough people to play intersquad games, and Joe Sakic was hurt. Brendan showed Gretzky, and made the team. Shanahan has not moved since then, and not played for Canada, although really, not really putting this well, but was screwed this December in the 2006 selections.

94 Ryan Smyth (Edmonton Oilers- Edmonton Oilers, Banff AB)

GP 6 G 0 A 1 PTS 1

-Ryan was a key grinder in the 2002 Olympics, and served his country proudly as ussual. Ryan has not moved from Edmonton since the 2002 Olympics, and has played in every major international tournament since then. Playing in the 2004 World Cup, the 2006 Olympics, and has captained all the World Championships teams from 2000 to 2005.

44 Chris Pronger (St Louis Blues- Edmonton Oilers, Dryden ON)

GP 6 G 0 A 1 PTS 1

-Pronger was one of Canada’s top defensemen in the 2002 Olympics, and was traded from St Louis to Edmonton this past summer, for Canada team mate Eric Brewer, Pronger pulled out of the 2004 World Cup, and choked in the 2006 Olympics.

2 Al MacInnis (St Louis Blues- Retired, Iverness NS)

GP 6 G 0 A 0 PTS 0

-Al was a great leader for the defense core in Salt Lake city, and played out his career in St Louis since the Olympics, he retired during the past summer, and hasn’t played for Canada since the Olympics.

31 Curtis Joseph (Toronto Maple Leafs- Phoenix Coyotes, Keswick ON)

GP 1 GAA 5.00 SP .800

-CuJo has gone down a bit since the 2002 Olympics, despite having a good year this year. He had 5 goals go by him, in an overall weak effort for Canada against the offensive power house from Sweden, you can’t blame him too much for what happened. CuJo left Toronto for Detroit in the summer of 2002, and then left Detroit for Phoenix in 2005. CuJo has yet to play for Canada again since then.

20 Ed Belfour (Dallas Stars- Toronto Maple Leafs, Carman MB)

-Belfour didn’t play in the 2002 Olympics, although according to Pat Quinn, he didn’t seem to have much of a problem with it. Belfour signed in Toronto in the summer of 2002, and was nominated for the Vezina trophy that year. Belfour’s gotten older, and slower since the Olympics, but made the 2004 World Cup team, before pulling out.

30 Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils- New Jersey Devils, Montreal PQ)

-Martin Brodeur going into the tournament was supposed to be the number 2 goalie at best, but played his way up the ladder to number one, and helped Canada win the 2002 Olympic gold. Brodeur played for Canada at the 2004 World Cup, the 2005 World Championships, and the 2006 World Cup, where he was obviously Canada’s best player. It’s a common myth that Domonik Hasek was the first goalie to have won both the Olympic gold, and the Stanley Cup, but Hasek won the Olympics in February 1998, and won the cup June 2002, while Brodeur won his cup in June 1995, and won the Olympic gold to become the first with both several months before Hasek won his cup, in February 2002.

That was a February to remember…

-L


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