[World Cup of Hockey News] Belfour pulls out of World Cup

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Unlucky news for Bronco and Jonesy :D

Belfour pulls out of World Cup
August 9, 2004

TORONTO (CP) - Veteran goalie Ed Belfour has pulled out of the World Cup of Hockey less than two weeks before Team Canada opens camp in Ottawa, citing a back problem.

The Toronto Maple Leafs netminder informed Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky of his decision Monday.

"I talked to Eddie this morning and unfortunately he won't be able to play," Gretzky told The Canadian Press in a phone interview. "He's got a back problem, a back injury."

The 39-year-old Belfour would likely have been the backup to Olympic starter Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils with Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers also named to the team.
 

The Apprentice

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Has a third Goalie been named? Should go to Jose Theodore. fcukin unbelievable that he was left off the team in the first place......

Disgruntled Habs Fan
 

The Apprentice

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Wayne Must have checked my Post. Thanks

Belfour out of World Cup, Theodore in
Canadian Press
8/9/2004
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore will replace veteran goalie Ed Belfour at the World Cup of Hockey, Team Canada announced Monday.
Belfour pulled out of the tournament less than two weeks before Team Canada opens training camp in Ottawa, citing a back problem.
The Toronto Maple Leafs netminder informed Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky of his decision Monday.
``I talked to Eddie this morning and unfortunately he won't be able to play,'' Gretzky told The Canadian Press in a phone interview. ``He's got a back problem, a back injury.''
The 39-year-old Belfour, who has history of back problems, would have been the No. 2 or No. 3 goalie behind Olympic starter Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils. Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers, who has led Canada to back-to-back world championship gold medals, is also on the team.
Belfour, a native of Carmen, Man., went 34-19-6 with the Leafs last season while posting a 2.13 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and registering 10 shutouts.



He was brilliant in Toronto's first-round playoff win over Ottawa this spring and that was a major factor in him being named to Team Canada on May 15, edging out Theodore.
``I feel horrible for Eddie,'' Gretzky said. ``He was so wonderful in Salt Lake City, just tremendous in the locker-room and great with the guys. I felt like he would get an opportunity to play (at the World Cup).
``So I'm really disappointed for Eddie.''
Theodore had 33 wins, six shutouts, 2.13 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage for Montreal last season. He won the Hart Trophy for the NHL's most-valuable player the Vezina Trophy for the league's top netminder in 2001-'02.
Theodore's stellar play in the first round of the playoffs last season was a key factor in Montreal's upset of the Boston Bruins.
``I am very excited and honoured to be named to Team Canada,'' said Theodore. ``Any time you have the opportunity to represent your country, it is a thrill, and I'm looking forward to being a part of Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey.''
Belfour joins Steve Yzerman and Rob Blake as three high-profile veterans from the Olympic champion team in Salt Lake having to pull out because of injury after first being named to the team May 15.
``You don't replace an Yzerman, not just for what he does on the ice, but his leadership off the ice,'' Gretzky said, while also praising Blake and Belfour. ``He's one of the greatest leaders we've had in this game.
``He played the gold medal game in Salt Lake City basically on one foot.''
Centre Vincent Lecavalier replaced Yzerman and defenceman Scott Hannan took over for Blake. The final 26-player roster must be submitted to World Cup organizers Aug. 29, on the eve of the Aug. 30-Sept. 14 NHL tournament.
With Yzerman, Blake and Belfour out, it's a younger Team Canada which will open camp Aug. 20 in Ottawa and kick off its tournament Aug. 31 in Montreal against the defending World Cup champion United States.
``There's no question we have a lot of new blood on this team and it's a bit of a different mix from Salt Lake, but all of these guys have been through the Canadian system, whether it'd be world juniors or world championships, that's what is so great about our program,'' Gretzky said.



``They'll have tremendous leadership from guys like Adam Foote, Mario Lemieux, Jarome Iginla, guys who have been there before.''



It's not clear at this point whether Belfour, who signed a multi-year contact extension with the Leafs on June 30, is seriously injured or not.



``We are in the process of gathering information on Ed Belfour's status,'' Leafs GM John Ferguson said in a statement released late Monday afternoon.



``We will provide more information when our club doctors have had an opportunity to examine him.''



Belfour was out a month late last season with a back injury but rebounded with a strong playoff.
 

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