CHICAGO – After Chicago Blackhawks’ games against the Nashville Predators, Patrick Kane would occasionally cross paths with Preds GM David Poile in the bowels of the arena. They would talk about the game and the NHL season; but their conversations would always lead to 2014.
“For some reason, we’d also talk about USA Hockey,” said Kane.
The reason’s obvious: Kane’s been a part of the U.S. national team program since he was 15 years old. Poile has been behind the scenes with USA Hockey for over 15 years, including as an assistant general manger for Kane’s 2010 U.S. Olympic team that settled for silver.
“It’s definitely an achievement, but you think about four years down the road and being even better,” said Kane.
It’s expected Poile will be announced as general manager for the 2014 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team, with both the GM and the coach revealed the weekend of the NHL Draft. He replaces 2010 architect Brian Burke, who was not asked back reportedly because he isn’t a current NHL general manager.
It’s a move Kane endorses.
“He’s a good guy, a great GM, he’s done some great things in Nashville,” said Kane. “I think he’s been a big part of picking good teams for the U.S.
“Good for him. He definitely deserves it.”
The assumption is that Poile will continue with the philosophy established by the 2010 team, which could roll four lines and emphasized role players.
But Kane said the maturation of some of the young stars from that 2010 makes selecting the 2014 edition a different task.
“I think in 2010, you’re thinking about a team for the future,” he said. “You’re excited about the future about USA Hockey, with some young players that were on that 2010 squad that have gotten even better.”