Report: U.S. to name Olympic coach on June 29

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Despite no formal agreement for NHL participation at the 2014 Olympics, countries are continuing to prepare as if NHLers are going to Sochi.

USA Hockey is set to announce its head coach for the winter games on June 29, according to Sportsnet (by way of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi.)

The news comes just a week after Sweden announced its Olympic camp roster.

Rossi reached out to USA Hockey for a response to the report, but the organization declined comment.

It’s expected USA Hockey will go with a different staff than the one that captured silver in 2010, when ex-Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson served as bench boss, assisted by ex-Islanders head coach Scott Gordon and ex-Rangers coach John Tortorella.

Ex-Leafs GM Brian Burke was the general manager.

(Notice a theme there?)

In late May, a report claimed Burke had already been ruled out as a potential GM for ’14, and it seems unlikely Wilson would be brought back to reprise his role.

Gordon and Tortorella seem unlikely as well, though less so.

So, replacements?

Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma is thought to be the leading candidate for the head coaching gig. Since taking the Pens job in 2009, he’s won a Stanley Cup and Jack Adams award and advanced to this year’s Eastern Conference final.

Assuming USA Hockey wants active NHL coaches for assistant positions, the likes of Philadelphia’s Peter Laviolette, Columbus’ Todd Richards and New York Islanders’ Jack Capuano will garner strong consideration.

As for the GM job, it sound as though Nashville’s David Poile — a three-time NHL GM of the Year award nominee — is a frontrunner.

Pittsburgh’s Ray Shero, who currently sits on the USA Hockey advisory board, could also be in the mix, though as of last week he said he hadn’t been asked about running the team.

Fight video: Flyers’ Manning vs. Penguins’ Gaunce

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Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.

The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.

Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.

Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.

Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

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Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

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Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

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The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.