He may have taken a seat on the bench last night against the Devils, but Marc-Andre Fleury was still a big part of the pre-game talks, as it was announced earlier in the day that he will be joining Team Canada for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Our residential translator and good friend Becky had her eyes peeled for the latest from the man himself and relayed an English translation e-mail my way last night. So, we thank Becky once again (as always), and give you the translated piece after the jump.
I'd also like to add that if we don't get around to doing it later, on behalf of Hooks, Lavender, Dunman and myself, I'd like to wish you all a happy and safe new year. If you're drinking don't drive. If you're driving don't drink. Have fun and we all look forward to another great year in 2010.
Eyes on Vancouver
As the days passed, I was getting more and more nervous, especially that last night [before the announcement] before going to bed. In the morning, we had a practice in New Jersey. Sidney came to see me to tell me that he had gotten a call from the directors of Team Canada.
At that moment, my stress level jumped. I immediately took out my cell phone to see if I had a missed call. Happily, that was the case.
Kevin Lowe had just left a message on my voice mail to confirm my presence in Vancouver. I could not ask for a better scenario.
I do not yet know what my role will be in the Canadian team. The directors haven’t revealed their plans. I will not change my philosophy, though. I have always said that I would do anything just to have the chance to live the Olympic adventure.
In Vancouver, I will share the net with two great goaltenders in Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo. I had the chance to get to know them a bit better this summer at the orientation camp in Calgary, and there was a good feeling between us.
As fate has it, the very evening of the announcement, I ran into Brodeur in New Jersey. Martin took the time to come see me during warm-ups to welcome me to the team. He gave a little tap of his stick to my leg pads as well as congratulating me. It was just a small gesture, but one that shows Brodeur’s class.
A unique experience
I don’t really know what to expect from my first experience at the Olympic games. I have never been to them in person, I’ve always watched them on television.
Now I find myself in a rather more important role. Plus, the games are taking place at home, in Canada. That helps to heighten the magic.
My parents, my sister, and my girlfriend will also make the trip to Vancouver.
From 46 to 23
When you look at our team, there are not too many weaknesses. This past summer, I was bowled over by the talent of the 46 players at camp. Steve Yzerman had quite a mission to whittle that number down to 23. One could form two very good teams in Canada.
There were certainly agonizing choices, but I have confidence in our team.
It was a little strange in the Penguins locker room. Crosby and I were receiving congratulations from our teammates, while Jordan Staal was learning that he would not be participating in the Olympics.
Jordan is one of my very good friends on the team, and I felt bad for him. Luckily, he took the news with a great deal of class.
Scott Niedermayer will be our captain. In my opinion, this is a very good choice, even though Crosby could have played that role. Scott is not just a good leader on the ice, he is also a very good guy. I had the chance to go fishing with him this summer, and I really had a good time. A guy like Niedermayer will help to calm the youngest players on the team.
Before jumping on the airplane to Pittsburgh, I would like to wish you a happy New Year 2010.
For my part, I would not mind adding Olympic gold, following a first Stanley cup. But there will be numerous candidates for that title. Russia, Sweden, the United States, Finland, and Slovakia will all have dangerous squads.