This legend represented Team Canada at 8 World Championships (winning 7 gold and 1 silver) and 3 Olympics (winning 2 gold and 1 silver). But 37 year old Vicky Sunohara has been cut from Team Canada's 2008 World Championship team, as the country looks to make room for some of the many younger stars, undoubtedly with the 2010 Olympics firmly in mind.
Taking Sunohara's spot is 18 year old Rebecca Johnston, who will make her World Championship debut April 4-12 in Harbin, China.
It's a tough spot for Sunohara, and older women's players before her, most notably Angela James. You want to reward your decorated veterans who gave so much to get women's hockey to where it is today, but you also have bring along new talent while keeping the team's best interests short and long term in mind.
“The tough thing for our players is that in the [men’s] pro ranks, when you get to that veteran stage of your career, you get traded a few times and maybe you go to a younger team, and you don’t have to quit playing at a high level,” Team Canada GM Melody Davidson said. “But in our game, if you don’t make Team Canada, there’s not another team to trade you to. And that’s the toughest part.”Team Canada will also be without a couple of other familiar names, but with 17 skaters returning to the defending gold-medal winning team, lack of experience is not a concern.
Danielle Goyette announced her retirement last month. Cheryl Pounder has taken the season off following the birth of her baby. And veteran Sami Jo Small, who had been the team's alternate goaltender since 2005, was not selected this time around.
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