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Team USA unveils Bylsma’s assistant coaches

Jul 23, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT

Peter Laviolette AP

The Olympics have a way of putting NHL rivalries temporarily on the back burner, even the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

USA Hockey previously revealed that Penguins bench boss Dan Bylsma would serve as Team USA’s head coach in the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics, but this morning they named his assistants.

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.

Related:

USA Hockey announces 48-player Olympic camp roster

  1. iHeartHockey31 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    I wonder if NBC had anything to do with this. Just when you thought Penguins – Flyers games couldn’t possibly get any more interesting….

    Speaking of coaches& their public image, is no one worried about this:
    http://prettyfunnyhockeythings.tumblr.com/post/43633026375

  2. jpelle82 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:39 AM

  3. girouxed - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Wow lol Crosby and Giroux will be playing on the same team and Lavy and Bylsma will be coaching On the same team. Pretty weird

  4. steelers88 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Well this should be interesting.

  5. jacketsfan7 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    I know right , but I think they respect each other and they’ll get along for the Olympics

  6. laxman1944 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Well ain’t that some sh*t……..

  7. dkphilly1122 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    They can put there differences aside for there country. Plus it is just a sport at the end of the day. They respect each other.

  8. bobhpine - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    So at least Dan has someone to fetch him coffee. Two creams, two sugars, Baldilocks.

    • laxman1944 - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Hey Piney….Mom let you out of the basement??

      Thought she took your pc away for not taking out the trash

  9. sjsharks66 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Well if they go down by 2 goals he can call a time out an lead them to victory.

  10. chrisk61 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    compare canada’s coaching staff to usa’s, particularly the assistants. julien, hitchcock, ruff. it’s like men (canada) vs boys. and this is coming from an american…and flyers season ticket holder.

    • Windmiller4 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      Completely agreed. Don’t know why but I never considered either Bylsma or Laviolette to be among elite, even great coaches. To me they just had a good team in front of them.

  11. fabdeezy77 - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Not a big fan of either of these coaches. I thought the last USA coaching staff did a great job!

  12. jimw81 - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    i wonder if they are going to sit next to each on plane over to sochi.

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