Feb 23, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
Steve Yzerman took one of the highest pressure jobs in Canada as the executive director of the Canadian men’s Olympic ice hockey team. For Canadians, the only acceptable outcome is a gold medal, but given the fierce competition from countries like Russia, Sweden, Finland, and the United States, Canada’s success was far from guaranteed.
All the same, he found a way to do just that, assembling back-to-back gold medal winning teams for the first time in Canadian history since the 1948 and 1952 games. Now, he’s ready to step down.
“Time to move on,” Yzerman said, smiling, per TSN and ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Every decision Yzerman made along the way was fiercely scrutinized. With so many worthy candidates to chose from, any roster he constructed was inevitably criticized by both the fans and his peers.
“Anybody that thinks that Claude Giroux doesn’t belong on the Canadian Olympic team, they don’t know anything about hockey,” Snider said.
Giroux certainly wasn’t the only great player to be left off the roster, but the teams Yzerman constructed meshed well and, most importantly, won together.
He could not possibly do more than meet the nations expectations, but the fact that he pulled it off is remarkable.
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 0
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 3
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 57
- Subban not eager to discuss contract talks 33
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 22
- Gorges still can’t explain falling out of favor in Montreal 13
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 10
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 7
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 31
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 45
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (59)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)
- Return that toaster: Ovechkin-Kirilenko engagement broken off (54)