The Vancouver Canucks are pleased to announce that right wing Michael Grabner will join the Austrian National Men’s Hockey Team at the Olympic Qualifying tournament for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Grabner, 21, will be playing for Austria in Group F of the third stage of the Olympic Qualifying tournament played in Hanover, Germany from Feb. 5-8, 2009. Austria will be competing in a pool which includes Germany, Slovenia and Japan.
The winner of the tournament advances to the Olympic Games in Vancouver which will be held Feb. 12-28, 2010. Belarus, Canada, the Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States have already qualified for the Olympic tournament. Three other teams will qualify for spots to be determined.
Grabner has played in 38 games with the Moose this season. He leads the team with 19 goals and is second in scoring with 28 points (19-9-28). He has also collected 12 PIMs.
>> team release
A nice move by the Canucks. I'm sure they'd love to have one of their prospects playing in this tournament for an underdog team like Austria.
Germany will be the heavy favourite in that pool but will be missing a few of its NHLers.
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