USA Hockey names Dan Bylsma head coach of 2014 men’s Olympic team

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Dan Bylsma will be heading to Sochi, Russia, next year.

On Saturday, USA Hockey named Bylsma as the head coach of the men’s Olympic ice hockey team for the 2014 Sochi Games.

“It is truly a great honor to be named coach of U.S. Olympic Hockey Team,” Bylsma said during a press conference put on by USA Hockey.

“We certainly have one objective, and that’s to go to Sochi and win gold. We’re ready for the challenge, excited for opportunity.”

In 2010, the underdog U.S. team fell one goal short of upsetting Canada in the gold medal final, ultimately earning silver.

Bylsma is currently the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was behind the bench when the Penguins won the 2009 Stanley Cup, and won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in 2011.

“We’re thrilled to have Dan as coach of our men’s Olympic team,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey, in a statement.

“He’s rapidly established himself as one of the most prominent coaches in our country today and we know he’ll help put us in the best position of achieving our ultimately goal of bringing home the gold medal.”

It wasn’t that long ago, only a few weeks, that there was speculation Bylsma’s time in Pittsburgh was over, after the Penguins were swept in the Eastern Conference Final by the Boston Bruins.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero, who is also the associate GM of the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team, ended that speculation when he signed Bylsma to a two-year contract extension.