Jul 23, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT
The Olympics have a way of putting NHL rivalries temporarily on the back burner, even the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.
One of them will be Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. The Flyers bench boss led his team all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010 and he previously won the Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. Laviolette has a 389-279-25-63 record as an NHL head coach.
Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards will also aide his country after seeing his underdog squad enjoy a late surge in 2013 that almost led to them ending their playoff drought. Richards has spent four seasons as an NHL head coach and hasn’t made the playoffs in that role.
Finally, someone very familiar with Bylsma’s style, Tony Granato, will round out Team USA’s coaching staff. Granato has spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins. As a player, Granato was part of America’s 1988 Olympic squad.
One notable snub was John Tortorella, who has won both the Jack Adams Award and the Stanley Cup. Dan Bylsma beat out Tortorella for the head coaching job and at the time, it sounded like Tortorella’s abilities as a coach might not have been the sole reason why he wasn’t selected.
Per Kevin Allen of the USA Today:
Tortorella damaged his public image this season with hostile news conferences while with the New York Rangers and a cursing incident during an NBC interview. It had to make him a less attractive candidate. One reason why the NHL allows it players and coaches to go the Olympics is to help grow the game. Tortorella’s behavior this season didn’t help him.
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