Sources: U.S. hockey staff confirmed
The management team and coaching staff of the U.S. men's hockey team for the Sochi Olympic Games in Russia next winter will be a hybrid of the old and the new.
Nashville Predators general manager David Poile, the associate GM of the U.S. team that won a silver medal at the Vancouver Games in 2010, will ascend to the role of GM while Ray Shero, the Pittsburgh Penguins GM, will move into the associate role with the U.S. squad, it was announced Friday.
Brian Burke, the GM of the Vancouver Olympics team that lost a heartbreaker in overtime in the gold-medal game to Canada, will return in a player personnel role. All three have confirmed that they will make the trip to Sochi, sources said.
The head coach of the team will be Pittsburgh bench boss Dan Bylsma, sources said.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will try to wrap up a deal Monday allowing NHL players to compete in the Sochi Olympics. He says the league will meet in New York with the players' association, the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation.
Bettman spoke Thursday after a session with the Board of Governors. He says the board has given him the authority to finish the deal. Bettman said "that's something we will try and conclude an agreement with."
Having the NHL players compete in the games would mean a break in next year's NHL regular season of about two weeks in February.
Ron Wilson was the coach of the 2010 U.S. team when he was head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs under Burke, who was president and GM of the Leafs.
Wilson is no longer coaching, having been fired by Burke in March 2012, while Burke was dismissed from his post with the Leafs on the eve of the lockout-shortened regular season in mid-January.
As was the case with the 2010 team, it's expected the U.S. management team will rely heavily on input from a large group of GMs with ties to USA Hockey, including Paul Holmgren in Philadelphia, Dean Lombardi in Los Angeles, Dale Tallon in Florida, George McPhee in Washington, Stan Bowman of the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and former Atlanta GM Don Waddell.
The management team and coaches will be formally introduced in New York at a news conference Saturday morning as a lead-in to the NHL's draft weekend.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.