Hockey Canada: Yzerman the man for men's 2014 Olympic hockey team
If it ain't broke then don't fix it, that seems to be the motto Canada's hockey program is embracing for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Hockey Canada announced March 5 that Steve Yzerman will again be the director for the country's men's Olympic hockey team.
Yzerman, 46, General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was behind the selection
of the team that won the gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. His management team this time will again have a group of experienced hockey men to help him go for gold.
Team Canada looks to Sochi Olympics
Key members of the team working with Yzerman toward getting that gold in Sochi, Russia will be Edmonton Oilers president Kevin Lowe, an integral part of the team for the Vancouver Olympics, Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland, St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong and from Hockey Canada both Bob Nicholson and Brad Pascall are in the team's mix.
"The opportunity to work for Hockey Canada again is something I'm really excited about," former Red Wing captain Yzerman said Monday at a press conference in Calgary. "Vancouver was one of the greatest experiences of my career in hockey, it was very rewarding and enjoyable experience for us all, as well as very educational."
Any medal in 2014 would see Yzerman eclipse the accomplishment of Wayne Gretzky; Gretzky was the previous director of the team, winning gold in Salt Lake City in 2002 but finishing only fourth in 2006 in Italy.
NHL and 2014 Olympics
It is not yet a lock the NHL will allow players to partake in the Olympics, as they have done since the 1998 Olympics in Japan. Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently gone on record as saying that he would like to talk to the NHL about ensuring
that they will release players for the Sochi Olympics.
The NHL and NHL Players Association have not made a decision. One drawback is the time it would require of the players to miss, more due to the huge time difference between North America and Sochi. Should there be no NHL participation then clearly Yzerman would have a more complex job selecting players, as would virtually all Olympic men's hockey programs.