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Canadian Press
12/1/2006 2:52:26 PM


MONTREAL (CP) - Guillaume Latendresse will not be available to Canada's team for the world junior championship.

The Montreal Canadiens informed Hockey Canada of their decision Friday, saying they won't release the 19-year-old right-winger for the tournament in Sweden at the end of December because they need him to play in the NHL.

"With the way he's played with us and with (right-winger) Chris Higgins injured, it was an easy decision," said coach Guy Carbonneau.

Latendresse was a member of the gold-medal winning world junior squad last year in Vancouver, but was used sparingly by coach Brent Sutter.

"It's good news," the six-foot-two 230-pound Latendresse said. "It's good to see that the team wants me here.

"Last year, we won the gold medal and I didn't maybe have the ice time I wanted, but that's part of the game. This year I'm staying here and I'm happy with that. I have more to prove in the NHL."

The former Drummondville Voltigeurs star made the Canadiens with a strong training camp. The NHL club announced early on he would not be sent back to junior hockey.

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bad move by montreal they not only refused to let guillaume latendresse play for his country he refused to give him the opportunity to get better and gel with players his own age. By not letting him go for a week he may very well have lost the respect of a player.
 

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I think they made a good decision. We need Lantendresse right now. He had his time getting better with players his own age when he was with Drummondville. It's good for him to have time with players like Koivu and Ryder on the 1st line because when Higgins comes back he won't really have a chance to play with them anymore.
 

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while he was with drummondville his played increased a lot because he was playing with players more his caliber and I agree with Patrick Roy and think that Latendresse should not be in the NHL yet.

1/ hes too young
2/ too immature
3/ defintely not ready to deal with the pressure of being french canadian playing for the habs
4/ needs to improve his skating
 

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I didn't think he was ready either but he's playing with the habs now and sending him to play with the juniors would be stupid. If he was back on the 4th line and we had Higgins Carbo probably would have let him go, but he's on the 1st and Higgins isn't going to be back until the 7th(?)who would we put on the 1st while Gui was gone?
 
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