PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Mario Lemieux didn't say yes about playing for Canada in the 2002 Olympics. He also didn't say no.

Lemieux, who is ending a 3 1/2-year retirement to play again for the Pittsburgh Penguins, said Monday he would consider playing in the Salt Lake City Games.

``It's still too far ahead,'' Lemieux said at his first news conference since announcing his comeback. ``But if I play next year, I would love to play in the Olympics for Canada.''

Then, he added, smiling, ``Sorry, Craig.''

Penguins general manager Craig Patrick will be the general manager of the U.S. Olympic team, with former Penguins coach Herb Brooks returning as coach.

Lemieux has dual citizenship in the United States and Canada, but Patrick said international hockey rules dictate that a player cannot switch national allegiances. Lemieux starred for Canada in the 1987 Canada Cup against the Soviet Union.