Steve Yzerman took one of the highest pressure jobs in Canada as the executive director of the Canadian men’s Olympic ice hockey team. For Canadians, the only acceptable outcome is a gold medal, but given the fierce competition from countries like Russia, Sweden, Finland, and the United States, Canada’s success was far from guaranteed.
All the same, he found a way to do just that, assembling back-to-back gold medal winning teams for the first time in Canadian history since the 1948 and 1952 games. Now, he’s ready to step down.
“Time to move on,” Yzerman said, smiling, per TSN and ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Every decision Yzerman made along the way was fiercely scrutinized. With so many worthy candidates to chose from, any roster he constructed was inevitably criticized by both the fans and his peers.
It was just a few weeks ago that Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider accused Yzerman of playing politics by putting Martin St. Louis on the team as Steven Stamkos’ replacement over Claude Giroux.
“Anybody that thinks that Claude Giroux doesn’t belong on the Canadian Olympic team, they don’t know anything about hockey,” Snider said.
Giroux certainly wasn’t the only great player to be left off the roster, but the teams Yzerman constructed meshed well and, most importantly, won together.
He could not possibly do more than meet the nations expectations, but the fact that he pulled it off is remarkable.
The Los Angeles Kings lost one of their most veteran defensemen on Tuesday, as the club announced Matt Greene would be out indefinitely following shoulder surgery.
Greene, 32, had only appeared in three games this season, missing extensive time with the ailment. He had recently resumed skating with teammates and looked to be on the way back to a return, but never got to the point where he was participating in drills, or taking contact.
If Greene misses extensive time, L.A. could be in the market for a defenseman come trade deadline day, like they were last year before acquiring Andrej Sekera from Carolina. Greene is one of the most playoff-tested players on the L.A. roster, with 79 games and two Stanley Cups on his resume (and another Stanley Cup Final, with Edmonton in 2006).
Looks like the Canucks will have an interesting lineup tonight
But hold on, that doesn’t necessarily mean Pedan will make his NHL debut tonight. This morning, the Canucks announced they’d called up d-man Alex Biega from AHL Utica. Theoretically, inserting Biega could allow the offensively inclined Yannick Weber to move up to forward. Biega and Weber both shoot right. Pedan shoots left.
But wait, there exists another possibility — that both Pedan and Biega could play. That will depend on Chris Tanev‘s status. He got banged up yesterday as well, though he was able to skate this morning.
Weber likely to skate as a forward tonight. Biega may play instead of Pedan. If Tanev can't go, both will play. #Canucks