TSN's Bob McKenzie reported current Nashville Predators GM David Poile will be this year's GM for the US Mens Olympic Team. An interesting move by Team USA because many (including myself) had Ray Schero, GM of the Penguins, pegged as odds on favorite to be the GM. Random side note: At the NHL awards in 2011, I sat chatting with Poile at the Palms Place pool for a good 20 minutes without actually knowing who he was. You can imagine my surprise when I saw his face at the awards ceremony under the category of ‘GM of the Year'.
Current Anaheim Ducks' pro-scout consultant/not-GM and 2010 Team USA GM, Brian Burke, was deemed ineligible by USA Hockey because he's not currently an NHL GM. A little fishy to me seeing as Burke built a team that defied almost all expectations by beating Canada in the opening rounds and then falling to the maple syrup-suckers in the gold medal game. Granted, a lot of it had to do with the spectacular play of Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller.
It's going to be interesting to see the type of team Poile builds. One place he won't have to struggle finding quality players is at goaltending. Odds-on favorite to be the starter is LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. Naturally I despise him for being a King but can't say I'm disappointed he's American when it comes to the Olympics. His backup is probably going to be the toughest decision for Poile. There is Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings (in the same hate/love category as quick), Cory Schneider of the Vancouver Canucks, Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators and of course Ryan Miller who is a shade of his former self (Random side note #2: he's a dick. I saw him blow off a little kid wearing a Ryan Miller t-shirt when he asked for an autograph at a charity tournament.) John Gibson will probably get an invite to development camp over the summer but it's a snowball's chance he'd get added to this year's squad. Now 2018, that's a real possibility.
Top American coaching candidates are Pittsburgh's Dan Byslma (the favorite), Philadelphia's Peter Laviolette and if he gets a job somewhere, John Tortorella.
Here's a list of the current American players on the Ducks roster: Nick Bonino, Emerson Etem, Patrick Maroon, Kyle Palmieri, Bobby Ryan, David Steckel, Nate Guenin, Cam Fowler and Ben Lovejoy. The only player with the absolute best chance to make the team is Bobby Ryan. Those of you that are going to argue Etem has a realistic shot, you're adorable and disillusioned. The next closest long shots are Fowler, Palmieri, Lovejoy and Bonino. The first three might even make it as far as development camp this summer.
Look at the some of top players at the Americans disposal for Sochi: Zach Parise, David Backes, Phil Kessel, Dustin Brown (ugh), Patrick Kane, Joe Pavelski, Paul Stastny, Ryan Kesler, Mike Knuble, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Ryan Suter, Brooks Orpik, TJ Oshie, John Carlson, Dustin Byfuglien (if he lays off the poutine while in Winnipeg), and on and on. A majority of those guys are forwards. Defense, lead by Ryan Suter, obviously, is going to be a little more difficult to come by.
I love Olympic hockey. I also love beating the Canadians. TEAM AMERICA! F*CK YA!