сентября 1997 года.
Irbe wants shot at Olympics
WHISTLER, B.C. (CP) -- Arturs Irbe wants to play in the NHL for
another five seasons because he intends to compete for Latvia in the 2002
Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
The 30-year-old netminder from Riga will watch the Nagano Winter
Olympics from the sidelines because his country failed to qualify for 1998.
"I love my country and some day I will go back there and help
with the hockey," Irbe said Thursday during training camp with the Vancouver
"I want to make sure kids get enough ice time and enough equipment
to play. Kids love to play. The success of Sandis Ozolinsh has made this
game so popular."
Ozolinsh, a defenceman with the Colorado Avalanche, and Irbe
have combined to establish a foundation to benefit future players in Latvia.
"We need new hockey rinks because all we have is two and one-half
artificial (ice) rinks in the whole country," Irbe said. "Most kids that
want to play are from not so wealthy families."
Irbe joined the Canucks this summer as an unrestricted free agent
after one year with the Dallas Stars and five with the San Jose Sharks.
He played for Latvia during the world championship tournament
in Finland earlier this year and Irbe hopes to help his country qualify
for the 2002 Olympics.
Страничка Артурса Ирбе на сайте
"Звёзды с Востока"