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

Jun 29, 2013, 11:12 AM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins - Game Three Getty Images

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.

  1. nicknyhc - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    The guy can’t win a Cup with the most stacked team in the NHL and we give him our Olympic team? Great.

    • pdmjr - Jun 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      He’s won a Cup and has a great record. Go away. Players determine winning. Just ask Babcock who by the way has a worse record than Bylsma

    • hockeyfan1701 - Jun 29, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Last time I looked his name was on the cup as a coach.

      • nicknyhc - Jun 29, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        I’m talking about the last 2-3 years. The Pens have been stacked and have been the favorites to win it all and year after year under this guy they have embarrassing meltdowns.

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Yea, I’m not so sure about Bylsma. People are quick to forget that he took Therrien’s team to the Stanley Cup. Since then, it has been failure after failure. He seems like a nice guy and could do well if has the right defensive core picked for the national side. I’m not doing cartwheels over this selection. Then again, I’m not sure who else one would pick to coach the Stripes.

    • hockeyfan1701 - Jun 29, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      Everyone is quick to forget when Bylsma took over “Therrien’s team” the year he won the cup they were not even in the top 8. He then went 18-3-4 to get them into the playoffs.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Jun 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        I know how they did. But he (Bylsma) wasn’t involved in building that particular team. All I know is since then, they have been a major disappointment. They can’t play defense. I hope he gets a good defensive staff around him. I want the GOLD!!!!

  3. lordfletcher - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    so USA is destined for second place then?

    “nothing wrong with silver” – Ricky Bobby

    • lordfletcher - Jun 29, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      quote from Russo

      “Poile says they wanted a coach who is a winner, can handle star players and has a passion hockey = Bylsma”

      ugh… someone please tell me what “stars” he had to manage. Crosby is low maintenance, Malkin doesn’t seem like a cry baby either… Letang is leaving… and I highly doubt Morrow and Iggy were issues.


  4. burgh916 - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Now I know why he wasn’t fired.

  5. shoobiedoobin - Jun 29, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    What did Mike Babcock do wrong to not be named again? He won gold before, he took a rebuilding team to within one goal of beating the eventual champs and is still respected around the league as one of, if not THE best coach in the game. Bylsma on the other hand has been grossly overrated ever since he was gifted a championship in 09 and hasn’t proven anything since. Funny, when the ref help stops coming, Bylsma’s teams putter out. Big shock. Stacked team and gets obliterated by a team that barely has a first line. GTFO…

    Maybe they can just admit their selection process has become precisely like award voting…

    …a huge popularity contest. And that’s it. Babcock, Tippett, Julien, even overrated Ken “trap ’til I lose in the second round” Hitchcock would’ve been a better choice.

    • shoobiedoobin - Jun 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Whoops, forgot bylsma was from the US. Well, let’s replace those names with Laviolette. And replace Bylsma with anyone picked over Mike Babcock.

  6. whiskytango333 - Jun 29, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Dont worry, if Team USA can “get to their game” they’ll be fine.

    – Jaded Pens fan

  7. hockeyflow33 - Jun 29, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    In a first, the US will dress 18 forwards for the run of the tournament

  8. pastabelly - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Ducking – Torts would do a better job as long as someone else coached the power play. Short term, he wouldn’t wear out his welcome in a short tournament.

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