Blues' Pronger withdrsws from World Cup

TORONTO, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger of the St. Louis Blues has become the latest player for Team Canada to withdraw from the World Cup of Hockey.

Pronger, whose injury was not disclosed, will be replaced by Jay Bouwmeester of the Florida Panthers,


Detroit's Steve Yzerman, Colorado's Rob Blake and Toronto goalie Ed Belfour all have dropped out of the international competition due to injury.

"We are disappointed that Chris could not participate, but this gives a great opportunity to one of Canada's rising young stars," said Wayne Gretzky, executive director of the team. "When you can replace Chris with a player of Jay's caliber, it shows you how much depth we have in this country."

Team Canada, which begins play against the United States on Aug. 31, is set to open training camp on Friday.

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