Monday, February 10, 2014

Poile won't head to Sochi after all

If Team USA is going to compete for a medal in Sochi, it will have to do so without its principal architect.

USA Hockey announced on Monday that David Poile, the GM for America's entry in the men's hockey tournament, will not make it to Russia.

"He's back in Nashville with great care," said Jim Johansson, Asst. Executive Director of Hockey Operations. "It's just not advisable for him to come to Sochi with everything he has to deal with. Saying that, he is still our general manager."

Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, who was tabbed as the USA's assistant GM under Poile, will be heading to Russia in Poile's stead.

The  Nashville  Predators announced  this past Friday that Poile underwent successful procedures to fix facial damage suffered in a freak accident the day prior.

Poile  was standing near  the benches at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul during his  club's  morning practice  session, when he  was struck in  the face by an errant  puck.  He had damage  to his nose and  eye repaired, and also received stitches for a facial laceration.

The  63-year-old, whose prognosis was good, put his original travel plans to leave for Sochi with the rest of the USA players on hold, but was expected to make his way to  Russia  at some  point.

Team USA, which is seeking its first medal on foreign soil since 1972, opens  up its schedule on Feb. 13 against Slovakia.

"As I told the team today, knowing how much passion, time and effort he has put into putting this team together it’s disappointing for David and for us that he can’t be here,” Shero stated."He’s still the general manager of this hockey team and over the last few days even when he was in Minnesota at the hospital before he left I was in touch with him in terms of the roster and will continue to be. I’m looking forward to his continued involvement and he is still the general manager of this team."

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