A misunderstanding between USA Hockey and the two media organizations, USA Today and ESPN, that were invited into the Americans’ Olympic-roster selection process is to blame for the damage control that team general manager David Poile is being forced to undertake.
“I thought we had an understanding that we were able to review some of this content,” Poile told Sportsnet’s Hockey Central today (video).
“It came as a total surprise to us when we announced the team in Ann Arbor two days ago that both Kevin Allen’s and Scott Burnside’s articles came out,” added Poile. “I, and we, had no knowledge of that. To me, this is a situation between USA Hockey and what we thought should’ve happened. It’s on us; it’s not on the writers, other than I wish, with Scott in particular, his judgment would have been a little bit different, especially on the Bobby Ryan comments.”
In a way, this whole episode is reminiscent to what happened in Vancouver in October, when some — well, let’s just call them comments — Joe Thornton made in the dressing room were published, much to the dismay of the Sharks.
What exactly is on the record? That’s the key question. In each case, each side thought differently.
Of course, in the Thornton case, the writer was blamed by the organization (not to mention some in the media). In this case, Poile isn’t doing that. (“It’s on us,” he said.) However, it’s obvious he didn’t expect any of the more salacious comments that were made during the selection process to be published.
“This should never have come out,” Poile said. “That’s the bottom line.”