Rookies, vets on Team Canada's long Olympic list

It's a long list, but if the pool of players is any indication, the Canadian men's hockey team will again be the squad to beat at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy this February.

Among the list of 81 potential players for Team Canada are rookie forwards Sidney Crosby, Jeff Carter and Michael Richards, defenceman Dion Phaneuf and goaltender Cam Ward.

The list, released by Hockey Canada on Wednesday, includes nine goaltenders, 23 defencemen and 49 forwards.

Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators, Paul Kariya of the Nashville Predators, Marc Savard of the Atlanta Thrashers, and Eric Lindros and Bryan McCabe of the Toronto Maple Leafs were also on the list.

Those five players weren't part of Team Canada's invitation-only summer camp, but are having strong starts to the 2005-06 NHL season.

A player has to be on the preliminary list to be eligible for the 23-man roster that will participate at the Olympics, which run Feb. 10-26.

The deadline for the final roster selection is Dec. 22.