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.
- McDavid on teams possibly tanking for him: ‘It’s pretty crazy’ 3
- Fanspeak: Lemieux (stunner!) voted greatest Penguin in franchise history 34
- Under Pressure: Mike Johnston 16
- It’s Pittsburgh Penguins Day at PHT 33
- Captain no more: Sharks strip Thornton of ‘C’ 47
- Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format 52
- Fanspeak: Clarke voted greatest Flyer in franchise history 36
- Different tune: Moore hasn’t settled with Bertuzzi, says brother (Updated) 31
- Rangers win Kevin Hayes sweepstakes 30
- Kovalev compares Subban to Leetch, says he isn’t worth the money 54