Nathan Horton and Brent Burns won't be competing for Canada at the world junior hockey championship, according to Hockey Canada executive director Bob Nicholson.
Both Horton and Burns needed permission from their NHL clubs in order to compete for Canada, but both the Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild wouldn't release their players in time for the first day of selection camp on Dec. 12.
Nicholson said this year's team has been blessed with so much depth, Canada would easily move on without the two blossoming stars.
"We're fortunate we have so much depth that we're not forced to abandon our philosophy," Nicholson told Rogers Sportsnet. "We feel we have 30-plus players coming to camp that will allow us to assemble a great team and it's very important we have everyone in on the 12th."
Panthers general manager Mike Keenan was willing to give Horton to the junior team, but only if the forward could skip selection camp. Horton would have joined the team on the 20th.
Nicholson wasn't receptive to the idea.
"Obviously, Mike didn't think it was important enough for Nathan Horton to be here under the conditions we have laid out," Nicholson said. "So we thought it was best to move on."
The selection camp roster will be named Monday.
With players such as Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and teenaged sensation Sidney Crosby expected in camp, Team Canada expects to have one of the strongest rosters in the history of the tournament.
Nearly 11 players are expected to return from last year's silver medal-winning team.
with files from Canadian Press