Mike Keenan cut Philadelphia Flyers center Dave Poulin and W
BANFF, Alberta (AP) _ Mike Keenan cut Philadelphia Flyers center Dave Poulin and Washignton Capitals defenseman Scott Stevens from the Team Canada roster for the Canada Cup tourmanent, the last roster moves expected before the first game.
The moves reduced Canada’s roster to the maximum 23 on the eve of the Canada Cup hockey tournament.
Keenan, his three assistant coaches and two general managers made the decisions after the team’s final pre-tournament workout in this mountain resort town west of Calgary.
While the cutting of Stevens was a mild surprise, he had been competing with James Patrick for the seventh and final defenseman’s spot - Poulin’s departure was a shocker. He was expected to play on Canada’s checking line as a left winger with center Doug Gilmour and right winger Mike Gartner.
″It was the toughest cut I’ve ever had to make in hockey,″ said Keenan, also the Flyers coach. ″To cut your team captain...
″He’s a real character guy and a class individual. I’m sad but that was my duty.″
Poulin took the news well.
″If I wasn’t disappointed there’d be something wrong,″ Poulin said. ″I have to admit I was surprised. After you make it this far, you’ve got to be.
″But somebody’s got to get cut.″
The cuts leave Team Canada with three goaltenders, seven defensemen and 13 forwards. Only 20 can dress for tournament games.
Keenan said he would not decide on his starting goaltender until today. He must choose between Ron Hextall of the Flyers, Grant Fuhr of the Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders’ Kelly Hrudey.