Source Pravda.Ru

Lemieux: don't want to be picked for Olympics on name alone

Ice Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux is willing to play again for Canada in the Olympics, but wonders if he will be needed. With new players emerging in the National Hockey League such as Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Sidney Crosby, Lemieux said he won't allow himself to be picked for the February Olympics in Italy if he isn't deserving.

"There are too many good young players now to take a spot just because of your name," Lemieux said. "That wouldn't be right for Team Canada or myself. We have so many great young players for Canada now who can do the job.

"If I am playing well and they want me there, I'll be there for them, as well," he said.

However, Lemieux did not attend a Team Canada camp for prospective players last summer, nor has he shown much desire, at age 40, to spend the two-week NHL shutdown for the Olympics playing more hockey.

Lemieux was motivated to play for Team Canada in 2002 despite a serious hip injury that allowed him to play only one more NHL game that season. However, he was motivated by the chance to win a gold medal for the first time in his career an incentive that is lacking this time.

Lemieux thinks the 18-year-old Crosby would be a perfect fit for Team Canada.

"He's one of the best players in the league right now, game in and game out," Lemieux said. "They should take a look at him. It would be a good experience for him to be there", reported AP. P.T.