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Steve Yzerman Is the Perfect Choice for Executive Director of Team Canada

MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 25:  Team Canada Men's Olympic Hockey executive director Steve Yzerman speaks during a press conference to announce Team Canada's 2010 Winter Olympic Men's Hockey coaching staff June 25, 2009 at the Hilton Bonaventure hotel in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Isaac SmithAnalyst IMarch 29, 2012

Team Canada's men's hockey team would seem to have a motto: "if it ain't broken, don't "fix" it."

So by that motto, bringing Steve Yzerman back as general director would be a seemingly no brainer move.

Yzerman was appointed as the Executive Director of Hockey Canada on March 5th, and frankly speaking, there is no better choice to fill the position.

Yzerman held the same title in the last Winter Olympics when Team Canada won the gold medal, defeating the Americans 3-2 in overtime on Sidney Crosby's memorable (or if you're an American, forgettable) overtime winner.

The Olympics is the big "hurrah" as far as NHL players are concerned. Looking at the lineups for World Championships (which some of the better NHL players choose not to take part in for personal reasons) it's truly a small wonder why Canada hasn't won at these events.

Although Team Canada has since fallen to fourth in the world rankings of men's hockey (through World Championship exits), Yzerman insists he can bring the team back to the top.

When asked about the task at hand (repeating at the Olympics) Yzerman said:

"As a nation we have to recognize that these other countries are getting better and it’s difficult to win...we’re not going to win every time and we should appreciate the times we do win. That’s the reality. We’re expected to win and our goal is to win. I want to go over there and win too. I’m not going for any other reason.”

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 28:  Team Canada poses for a team photo with their gold medals after winning the ice hockey men's gold medal game between USA and Canada on day 17 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 28, 2010 i
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

But the reason Yzerman is such a perfect candidate for this job is that he is a proven winner.

Canada produces the best hockey players in the world by and large—it's just a matter of assembling the best (and best fitting for a team) to defeat other countries in the world on a regular basis.

Yzerman will be given the best talent in the world to work with, and with his time spent as a player, as an assistant GM with the Detroit Red Wings and current role as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Yzerman has the experience and the Stanley Cup rings to prove that he is the right fit for position of Executive Director of Hockey Canada.

Yzerman's first season as GM of the Lightning saw the Lightning make the Conference Finals before bowing out to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in game seven.

As a dual citizen (United States and Canada) born in the United States, I have always rooted for Team USA in the Olympics in hockey.

But if Steve Yzerman has anything to say about the Sochi 2014 Olympics (and if the players from the NHL are allowed to participate again), I have a sneaking suspicion that Yzerman will bring Team Canada back to the gold medal once again.

 

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