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.
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.