Avs sending more to Turin than any other NHL team
December 23, 2005
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche is sending more players to the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, to represent more countries than any other NHL team, the team said.Eleven players, almost half the Avalanche’s 23-man roster, will be competing for eight national teams Feb. 15-26.”To get the opportunity to play for your country is a privilege and honor,” said coach Joel Quenneville. “Being exposed to the quality of hockey that will be there will be special for them. It’s an experience that they are all going to bring back to the team at a critical time of the year. That could be useful for our team.”Quenneville said he would be watching the players closely when they return to determine how tired they are from the Olympics.”I think that is a concern, knowing you have to be mindful of how the guys are feeling and how much we use them in the course of a game,” he said. “We have a five-day stretch in March where we are off. We will be measuring how the guys are going into that time of year.”The Avalanche sent nine players and coach Marc Crawford to the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, and eight players to the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.The Olympians are goalie David Aebischer, Switzerland; defenseman Rob Blake, Canada; goalie Peter Budaj, Slovakia; forward Milan Hejduk, Czech Republic; goalie Vitaly Kolesnik, Kazakhstan; forward Antti Laaksonen, Finland; defenseman John-Michael Liles, United States; forward Joe Sakic, Canada; defenseman Karlis Skrastins, Latvia; forward Marek Svatos, Slovakia; and defenseman Ossi Vaananen, Finland.
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