The architect of the American Olympic team won’t be on hand to see it play.
Nashville GM David Poile — who spearheaded the USA Hockey selection committee — won’t be traveling to Sochi due to multiple injuries suffered after taking a puck to the face in Minnesota last week.
“[It’s a] huge disappointment,” said American head coach Dan Bylsma.
Here’s more, from The Tennessean:
Poile was struck in the face with a puck prior to the team’s morning skate last Thursday before a game against the Wild. He was carted out of the arena on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital via ambulance.
According to a team release on Friday, Poile underwent two successful procedures on his nose and eye areas and had stitches to repair facial lacerations. He remained in the hospital in St. Paul over the weekend for observation.
According to the Preds’ Twitter feed, Poile is currently “resting comfortably” in Nashville. Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero, who had been working with Poile in selecting the American team, will serve as the country’s general manger in Sochi.
UPDATE: Poile has released a statement through the Preds website…
“I first want to thank everyone who has reached out to me since suffering this injury. The outpouring of support and comfort has been overwhelming. My priority is to adhere to the advice and counsel of the medical team and, as a result, I will not be traveling to Sochi to be with Team USA during the Winter Olympics. Serving as GM of the U.S. Olympic Team has been the opportunity of a lifetime and I am forever grateful to USA Hockey.
“However, it is not possible for me to travel at this time, but I will remain in contact with Ray Shero, Brian Burke, Jim Johansson and our coaching staff during the Games. Team USA is in great hands and I will be there in spirit. I wish all the best for our players, coaches and entire group as they begin play in the 2014 Olympics and go for the gold.”