With Gretzky out, our predictions for Team Canada's new leader

In wake of the news that Wayne Gretzky will not return to his role as executive director of Team Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I've been given the job to help assist Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson in finding "The Great One's" replacement.

Now, Mr. Nicholson may have no idea that I'm doing this, or that I'm American and would really prefer someone like Garth Snow or Mike Milbury to take the reigns of Team Canada. But let's play along anyway. Here are the candidates, followed by their odds for getting the gig:

Carlton the Bear (20/1)

A great Canadian who has seen a lot of good and bad hockey since his "birth" in 1995. With the immediate future of the Toronto Maple Leafs, well, not so optimistic, Carlton might be rethinking his job options at the moment.

He also has supervisory experience from chairing the "Mascot Summit" at the 2000 All-Star Game in Toronto. And as you can see: Carlton, like myself, is fond of working without pants.

Bob and Doug McKenzie (10/1)

Wikipedia describes the brothers quite harshly as "two dumb beer-swilling brothers wearing heavy winter clothing and toques". Professional commentators on Canadian culture, Bob and Doug know exactly what Hockey Canada needs to bring the gold back on their home soil in Vancouver. All those with arguments against player selections or team philosophies will be dismissed and called a "hoser."

Maggie the Monkey (5/1)

If Hockey Canada is looking for a puppet, or, well, a monkey, then Maggie is perfect. She's easily trainable, as shown by her wheel-spinning ability thanks to the Bowmanville Zoo. Maggie also has clairvoyant abilities. When everyone predicted the Red Wings would eliminate the Mighty Ducks back in 2003, Maggie knew better and went her own way selecting Anaheim. She eventually had the last laugh as the Mighty Ducks swept the defending Stanley Cup champions. Should Maggie decline the position, Bob Nicholson could always pull a "Dave" and go for Darren Pang.

Steve Yzerman (2/1)

The overwhelming favorite according to legitimate sites like TSN. Yzerman is currently learning the management position as Vice President/Alternate Governor with Detroit as well as being the general manager of Team Canada during the 2007 and 2008 World Championship. Much like Gretzky did when he began as Team Canada executive director in 2000, Yzerman is adding to his post-hockey resume, and the experience of overseeing the operations of Canada's Olympic hockey team would be a nice stepping-stone for the soon-to-be Hall of Famer.

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