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Lecavalier, St. Louis, Stamkos left off Team Canada

30

December

Update 5:52 p.m. - The three Lightning stars who were snubbed by Team Canada - Marty St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos - all expressed disappointment they weren't selected
 
The biggest surprise was St. Louis, a Team Canada member in 2006, who is third in the NHL in assists. But while St. Louis said it was "very disappointing" he won't get to play for his country in Vancouver, he took the news in stride.

"I never take anything for granted, never thought I was a lock, but I never felt that I
played myself off the team at any time," St. Louis said. "They are hard decisions to make. I've been fortunate, I've had some great experience playing in Olympics, World Cup, All Star games, World Championship. My family has been very fortunate to get those experiences, too. You always felt that those experiences were leading up to this big one. It's a big deception. You're working for this experience. To be told you're not going to participate, be in this experience, it's hard to take. But life is full of disappointment. You've just got to accept it, and you don't have to be happy with it. But you have to move on. There's no better to do that than by playing a hockey game (tonight) instead of being home and thinking about it. So, its very disappointing."
 
Lecavalier is having a bit of a down year (nine goals, 37 points), but has played better as of late.
"I'm very disappointed, but what can you do?" he said. "I don't have much to say honestly, just wish them well. I didn't really know what to expect. I don't want to say if I was surprised or not, I wasn't sure. I saw at camp this summer, there were a lot of guys that were there, a lot of good hockey players, so what can you do?"
 
Lecavalier was vocal on being surprised St. Louis didn't make the team.

"Marty is I think one of the best wingers in the game, and for him not to be part of that team, I was very surpised," he said. "He played pretty well in the Olympics, and the last two years in the World Championships, he was probably the best player on that team. ...I think if you have a chance to get a Marty St. Louis on your team, you take it. That's how I feel about Marty and how good he is and what he brings to the team."
 
Stamkos said he wasn't that surprised. Though the second-year pro put himself on Team Canada's radar with a hot start to the season - he has 21 goals - Stamkos hasn't been as strong as of late.

"Obviously I tried to do as much as I could to get myself in that equation," Stamkos said. "It was an honor in of itself just hearing your name swirled around in there. At the end of the day, I wouldn't say I was ...it didn't catch me off guard, I wasn't really surprised with the
decision. There's so many great players who have had past experience. I think obviously my age factored in there."
 
But Stamkos said he felt he put himself in consideration.
 
"I think I played well enough to get in the mix, but not well enough to get on that team," he said. "I think you have to do something special, especially at the age I'm at
to really get severe consideration for that team. Like I said, it's tough, but not the end of
the world. Now you've got to kind of prove to them that they made a mistake I guess, if you
want to put it that way. You've just go out there, have fun and focus on the Tampa Bay
Lightning."


Developing: In a somewhat surprising development, no Lightning players made Team Canada for the 2010 Olympics.

Former Olympians Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis were left off the team, which was announced Wednesday. Steven Stamkos put himself on the team's radar with his hot start, but hasn't played as well lately.

While Lecavalier is having a down year - though he's been playing better recently - St. Louis is having a solid season, ranking third in the NHL in assists and second in power play points.

Team Canada's forwards are; Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla, Patrick Marleau, Brenden Morrow, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Eric Staal, Joe Thornton, and Jonathan Toews.

-- JOE SMITH, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Friday, January 29, 2010 12:15am]

    

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