Russian Olympians

Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk are among the 14 NHL players on the 23-player Russia squad for the Vancouver Olympics.

Russia last won the gold medal in 1992.

Forwards Pavel Datsyuk of Detroit and Alexander Semin of Washington, defensemen Sergei Gonchar of Pittsburgh and Andrei Markov of Montreal, and goaltenders Evgeni Nabokov of San Jose and Ilya Bryzgalov of Phoenix were also selected.

Coach Vyacheslav Bykov said his team, which will be finalized in February, is a favorite as the reigning world champions.

Gretzky's future

NHL hockey great Wayne Gretzky told in an interview Wednesday night that returning to a role in hockey is on hold for now.

"You know what, I don't know what the future holds for me," Wayne Gretzky said.

He quit as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes in September because he thought his indefinite future plans were becoming a big distraction for the team.

Since then, Gretzky's only public function was at the Hockey Hall of Fame induction night in November.

He is currently involved in family activities in Los Angeles.

"Yeah, there are days I really miss it," Gretzky said. "But the reality is that everything happens for a reason, and I don't see myself doing anything for at least a year and a half."

- Inquirer wire services