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Canada will ice a men hockey team with more than 5,500 NHL games under its belt at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

With NHLers not taking part at the Winter Games, HockeyCanada drew talent from seven different leagues across North America and Europe. And while the team may not have the marquee value of Canada recent Olympic champion teams, HockeyCanada officials and coaches made a point of noting it is long on heart.

of our players, at somewhere along the line, they been told head coach Willie Desjardins said at the roster reveal Thursday. not going to get a chance to continue their NHL career or even start it in some way.

lot like other Canadians, they managed to battle it and fight back. They stuck with it, they won give up That what our team is about. It about guys who have received a no but found a way to make a yes. There be a gold medal effort and there won be one guy that puts that jersey that this isn the highlight of their hockey career and the highlight of their family career.

Chris Kelly, who won the 2011 Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins, leads the way with 833 regular season games in the NHL. Most recently the 37 year old, who has 123 NHL goals and 166 assists, signed a tryout contract with Belleville of the AHL.

Derek Roy played 738 NHL games for Buffalo, Dallas, Vancouver, St. Louis, Nashville and Edmonton with 189 goals and 335 assists. Rene Bourque played 725 NHL games, notching 163 goals and 153 assists for six teams including Calgary and Montreal.

Maxim Lapierre played 614 NHL games for Montreal, Anaheim, Vancouver, St. Louis and Pittsburgh. Mason Raymond saw action in 546 NHL games with Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Anaheim.

Wojtek Wolski, who thought his hockey career was over a year to due to a neck injury, played in 451 games for five teams.

The blue line is less experienced with Cody Goloubef leading the way with 129 NHL games.

Defencemen Chris Lee and Mat Robinson have not played in the NHL while Chay Genoway has one game and Maxime Noreau six.

Goalies Justin Peters, Ben Scrivens and Kevin Poulin have 277 NHL games between them, spread between eight teams. Peters plays in Germany, Scrivens in Russia KHL and Poulin for a Croatian team that plays in the Austrian league.

Thirteen players come from the KHL, four from the Swiss league, three each from Sweden and the American Hockey League, and one from Germany and Austria.

The roster announcement,
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carried live on several networks, was made at the Hall of Champions at HockeyCanada office in Calgary. It came one day after the NHL released its all star squad.

Training camp starts Jan. 28 in Latvia for the Canadians.

The 12 nation men hockey tournament at the 2018 Games goes from Feb. 14 25 at the Gangneung Hockey Centre and the Kwandong Hockey Centre.

Canada opens play in a group with the Czech Republic, Switzerland and host South Korea.

The top four teams the group winners and the second ranked team with the best record advance to the quarter finals while the other teams take part in qualification playoffs to see who joins them.

HockeyCanada vice president Scott Salmond said the team selection process had lasted 14 months, involving seven tournaments and more than 100 players

Forward Christian Thomas, a second round pick of the New York Rangers in 2010 who is playing for Wilkes Barre/Scranton in the AHL, got the news he had made the team from his father, former NHLer Steve Thomas.

seen our players numerous times. We seen all our players, said Burke. don think we can sit here today and say we missed anybody. Everybody was given an opportunity.

Overholt called the Games a global sports event. Petersburg, Karjala Cup, Channel One Cup in Russia, and Spengler Cup in Switzerland.

NHLers may be missing but the passion is still there.

The Canadians engaged in a second period brawl with a young Russian national team in a 3 2 loss at the Sochi tournament.

Canada 2014 Olympic team was star studded with the likes of Sidney Crosby, Carey Price, John Tavares and Jonathan Toews, The 25 man roster one year salary cap hit was more than US$150 million, according to the Hockey News.

Canada has won 13 men hockey medals, including nine gold, since the first Olympic hockey tournament in Antwerp in 1920. The Canadian men have won three of the last four hockey golds, including the last two in Sochi and Vancouver.

The Americans named a 23 man roster, with two goalies to be added later. Of the 23, 15 play in Europe. four in the NCAA and three in the American Hockey League. Gionta, an NHL free agent, had been working out with Buffalo AHL affiliate in Rochester.

Here’s an illustration of the team roster, courtesy Hockey Canada:

Goaltenders: Justin Peters (Blyth, Ont./Kolner Haie, Germany), Kevin Poulin (Montreal/Medvescak Zagreb, Austria), Ben Scrivens (Spruce Grove, Alta./Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL).
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The student visiting New York from Darien, Conn., insisted she wouldn’t be caught dead in the style.

“Birkenstocks were really comfortable, but they were never cute. Those shoes would have to be a lot more high fashion to be worth the money,” she said.

Some women, though, weren’t put off by the strange creation, even with a price tag as steep as its heel.

“Those are really adorable. I wear Birkenstocks all the time, and I really think I would wear these,” said Lisa DiBenedetto, 40, an advertising executive in Chelsea. “They are pretty stylish and look like they are very comfortable as far as heels go.”

“I love them. If they came out with a cheaper version, I would absolutely get them,” the Manhattan based party planner said.

The original Birkenstocks provide an incredible amount of foot support in four different places, according to the companys’ Web site. It’s unclear how much support the stilettos will offer.

“They look so uncomfortable. The whole point of a sandal is to be comfortable,” vented Marsha Wilson, 32, of Far Rockaway, Queens. “How can there be any support?”
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Milan Richard’s bloodlines are rare and powerful.

His parents, Bill and Veronica Richard, were track All Americans in 1981 and 1982, respectively, at the University of Georgia. Bill, who is 6 foot 3, starred in the 110 meter hurdles, while 5 7 Veronica was a standout sprinter.

Well, Bill got his wish, because Milan has developed into a powerful 6 3, 200 pound freshman two way end at Calvary Day (Savannah), a Class A school with 400 students in grades 9 12. He has played mostly JV this year, but has appeared briefly in four or five varsity games, getting in on a possible 40 plays. He made eight tackles in one JV game.

“I just look at him and he is so much better than I could have thought of being at my age,” Bill said proudly. “He has broad shoulders and narrow hips. He has an 82 inch wingspan and wears size 14 shoes. He’s going to be (at least) 6 5.”

Because the family is so close knit, Herschel Walker never gets any special treatment when he comes home to visit. Milan knew his uncle was famous, but his eyes were opened wide when he began writing a research paper about him in sixth grade.

“I knew he was famous, but I didn’t know what the numbers were,” Milan related. “I started adding up his numbers (yards gained), then divided and when they popped up on the calculator . But he’s still Uncle Herschel whether the numbers were there or not.”

Milan (and everyone around him) wants to be the first Milan Richard and not the second coming of Herschel Walker. He did wear his uncle’s famous uniform No. 34 in Pop Warner football, but he began to create his own identity when he switched to No. 71 entering middle school and now he wears No. 81.

“I’m still my own person,” Milan affirms. “I’m not trying to be like him, because I know I never will be like him. There’s not really (any pressure), because I am my own person and I know that’s what he wants.”

Herschel Walker, who was just 5 9 and chubby as a freshman at Johnson County (Wrightsville),
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told MaxPreps, “We want him to have his own identity. Milan has to be Milan. Milan may be better than Herschel. We don’t want him to limit himself.

“He certainly has a lot of potential. It’s up to how much will he work. He’s thinning out and getting a great upper body. I would love to see him play tight end. He’s got the speed and hands.”

Asked about giving advice, Herschel replied, “I may suggest something to him. I don’t want to overload it or make it a coaching session. I just want him to have fun.”

Herschel has an 11 year old son, Christian, who wants to be a gymnast.

“He may get too big, but you don’t tell a kid he can’t do something,” Herschel said philosophically.

Herschel gave Milan his first taste of celebrity at age 10 when he came back for the University of Georgia homecoming game and took him on the famous “Dawg Walk” with the players from the team bus into the locker room. Last summer Milan took his first step toward national recognition when he attended the Football University Camp in Orlando, Fla., He did so well that he was among the elite invited to the Top Gun Camp in Williamsburg, Va., where top players competed from all 50 states.

The multi talented youngster has played baseball since his T ball days and once hit a 320 foot home run. He also plays basketball where he is a standout rebounder and has a 32 inch vertical jump. Milan said he has drawn strength from his faith which has also helped him be be a better leader.

“That’s one thing I get titled,” he said. “I know I’m the guy who can do it (make big plays) and in some situations has to do it. Being labeled a leader, everybody expects you to do it.”

Mark Stroud, third year coach of the Cavaliers, agrees that Milan “has got some leadership potential. He’s got all the physical makeup to be a tremendous player. He runs very well and is going to be a very strong, physical kid. He can be a dominant player. We want him to be Milan Richard and not play in anybody’s shadow. We try to make it low profile for him.”

The Cavaliers lose eight seniors to graduation this year and Stroud sees the possibility of Richard being a two way starter, but he’ll have to fight for his positions next year.

Milan has a favorite player in all three pro sports Ray Lewis in the NFL, LeBron James in the NBA and Albert Pujols in the Major Leagues. He has a B plus average in the classroom and believes that good grades are the key to a college scholarship.

“If I take care of my grades, the sports will come,” he said.

With both parents and a famous uncle having attended the University of Georgia, is there any choice of college for Milan?

He’s got plenty of time to decide, but he said that even if he chooses another college, “It would be tough, but I think I’d still be able to sleep in my own bed when I came home.”
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