Report: Eric Staal’s agent confirms his interest in Olympics appearance

Montreal Canadiens' Eric Staal pauses during the warm up prior to his first game with the team before first period NHL hockey against the Edmonton Oilers (Paul Chiasson/AP)

Eric Staal’s agent says his client has interest in playing for Team Canada at the Beijing Olympics, Postmedia’s Michael Traikos reports.

“When the NHL and NHLPA decided they wouldn’t be participating at the Olympics, there was communication (from Staal) to let those people know that he would be interested — and it was a mutual interest,” Rick Curran told Traikos.

Curran says Staal has been skating in Minnesota.

“He has been skating every day and working out with the idea that there are a couple of clubs that have expressed a continued interest,” said Curran. “Eric wants to make sure that if an opportunity comes around, he’s able to jump in and it wouldn’t take him long to get ready.”

The 37-year-old Staal hasn’t played this season after finishing last year with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.

Staal had five goals and eight assists in 53 games split between the Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres last season before adding two goals and six assists in 21 playoff games.

The six-time NHL All-Star has 1,034 points (441 goals, 593 assists) in 1,293 career NHL games.

A native of Thunder Bay, Ont., Staal was part of Canada’s 2010 gold medal-winning Olympic team in Vancouver.

Sportsnet confirmed on Tuesday that University of Michigan defenceman Owen Power will be on Team Canada.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Tuesday that Jason Demers and Eric Fehr, who have signed KHL contracts, and Devan Dubnyk, Cody Franson and Josh Ho-Sang, who are on AHL-only contracts, will also be strong considerations.

Canada’s first game is scheduled for Feb. 10 against Germany.

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