Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Stars' Turco named a Canadian Olympian

Two days after Dallas Stars forwards Mike Modano and Bill Guerin were named to the United States Olympic hockey team, Stars goaltender Marty Turco (above) today was named to the Canadian Olympic team. This will be Turco's first appearance in the Olympics.

Turco, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, who won two NCAA championships while playing at the University of Michigan, will join New Jersey's perennial All-Star Martin Brodeur and Florida's Roberto Luongo as Team Canada's three goaltenders.

Whether or not Turco sees any significant playing time behind likely #1 starter Brodeur remains to be seen. Turco started off the 2005-06 season slowly, but has regained his form over the last six weeks, winning the NHL's defensive player-of-the-month award for November. His Dallas Stars currently are in first place in the Pacific Division with a record of 21-9-1.

Several other Stars players are expected to make their respective countries' Olympic teams. Forwards Jere Lehtinen and Niko Kapanen are almost assured of making the Finnish team, while backup goaltender Johan Hedberg (Sweden) and defenseman Martin Skoula (Czech Republic) are likely representatives for their nations' teams.

The National Hockey League will take a two-plus week hiatus from its regular season schedule in February so that its top players can compete in Turin, Italy. Canada, the Czech Republic and the U.S. are among the medal favorites. But don't count out the pesky Finns, as they very well could be there when the gold medal is handed out.


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