TORONTO -- Mario Lemieux was the unofficial greybeard of Team Canada when the last World Cup of Hockey was played 12 years ago.This time around, the role falls to 37-year-old Joe Thornton, who played alongside Lemieux in 2004 and is being counted on this time for leadership and talent that have withstood the test of time.Thornton finished fourth in NHL scoring last season, compiling 82 points in 82 games for the San Jose Sharks. He added another 21 points in 24 playoff games, reaching his first-ever Stanley Cup Final.Joe Thornton, when you look at his season last year, hes playing great hockey, Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong told the Canadian Press.Armstrong says Thornton is still one of the best passers in hockey, and indeed his 63 assists last season were only topped by Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. Thornton is the runaway leader in assists since he entered the league in 1997, 212 ahead of second-place Jaromir Jagr. Thornton also has the most points (1,341) of any player in that span, more than 100 points up on Jagr.Canada coach Mike Babcock said Thorntons inclusion on the roster, which came at the initial exclusion of much younger players like Logan Couture, Corey Perry, Ryan OReilly and Taylor Hall, was based on merit. His offensive gifts, which have already been apparent in exhibition play, were too much to ignore.He obviously was a guy that played well enough and played good enough and was important enough on his team, Babcock said.Armstrong was intrigued by how San Jose used Thornton last season, mostly on the wing alongside Joe Pavelski. A plodding skater who didnt make the 2014 Olympic squad in Sochi, Thornton also seemed a better fit for the NHL-sized rink in Toronto where the World Cup will be played, though Armstrong said his inclusion was based on performance, not the ice surface.Thornton, who last represented Canada at the 2010 Olympics, hadnt given much thought to cracking the World Cup roster before getting the invitation this summer.It was just one of those things where you just kind of play, dont think about it and then you get chosen, said Thornton, still oozing energy even after more than 1,500 NHL games.It could be the last time he wears red and white on the international stage, though hes hinted at playing on. Hes already won Olympic (2010) and world junior gold (1997) as well as the crown at that 2004 World Cup, one of two players returning for Team Canada. Jay Bouwmeester is the other.Thornton recalls that `04 squad fondly. The group went undefeated (6-0-0) and included Lemieux as well as other future Hall of Famers Scott Niedermayer, Martin Brodeur and Joe Sakic. Thornton, 25 at the time, set up two of three goals in Canadas 3-2 win over Finland in the final. The Canadians hope hes still got that magic.Ive still got another 10 years (left), said a grinning Thornton, so maybe the next World Cup, Ill play in it, too. Cheap Asics Shoes From China . It was the second consecutive win for the Pacers (2-5), who lost their first five preseason games. Jeff Teague led the Hawks (1-5) with 17 points and eight assists and Al Horford had 12 points and seven rebounds. Mike Scott scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half. Wholesale Asics Shoes Free Shipping .C. -- When North Carolina freshman Ryan Switzer reported to training camp in August he was a little miffed to learn he was third on the depth chart at punt returner. http://www.cheapasics.com/ . 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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who returned to practice Saturday while recovering from a calf injury, is listed as questionable for Monday nights game against the New Orleans Saints but will play.Yes, Ill play Monday night, Jones said.?I wouldnt chance it if I didnt [feel right], if I felt like I was going to overcompensate and something else was going to get tore up or it was going to get worse or anything like that. Its just warming that muscle up, warming up everything, making sure everything is firing properly.Jones, held out of practice Thursday and Friday, was limited Saturday. However, he appeared to have his explosion running across the red zone and catching passes near the start of practice. In between reps, Jones was spotted bouncing up and down as if to test and make sure his calf was fine.He looked explosive in and out of his breaks, Falcons coach Dan Quinn said of Saturdays practice. He didnt get a lot of turns, but we kind of tried to feature him on the plays that he needed to see. We didnt do it just in the red zone. We did him on third down. We did it on first and second down to see where he was at. So, Im encouraged.That was kind of the plan in the week: Could he do some of the walk-through? And then he kind of made a good turn yesterday and today to say, All right, lets give it a shot. Hes somebody that needs to go to really feel it.When asked if he injured his right calf after colliding with two Oakland Raiders defenders last weekk, Jones responded, Both of them hurt.ddddddddddddJones entered the regular season recovering from a left ankle injury suffered in the third preseason game. He then aggravated the ankle injury in a 31-24 season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It didnt stop Jones from playing 49 snaps -- with five receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown -- in last weeks 35-28 win at Oakland.Jones said the ankle is no longer an issue.Entering Monday nights game, Jones leads the team with 172 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions. He has nine catches, second to Jacob Tamme (11).In other injury news, first-round draft pick Keanu Neal, who is coming off preseason arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, will make his NFL debut Monday night. Quinn did not commit to Neal starting at strong safety, but he said Neal would get his share of plays.Meanwhile fellow rookie DeVondre Campbell, a starting inside linebacker, was ruled out for the second consecutive game with a left ankle sprain. Fellow inside linebacker Paul Worrilow also is out after undergoing groin surgery. Sean Weatherspoon will start for Campbell, while Philip Wheeler will help address the depth at inside linebacker with Worrilow out too.Wide receiver Justin Hardy is set to play despite being limited throughout the week with a shoulder injury. And wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (ankle) also is set to go. ' ' '