To no one's great surprise Steve Yzerman was named general manager of Team Canada's 2010 Olympic team.
Kevin Lowe, Ken Holland and Doug Armstrong will make up the rest of the Olympic management team. Bob Nicholson, Hockey Canada president and CEO, hired the three, with Wayne Gretzky serving as a special adviser.
What I found most interesting was Hockey Night In Canada's interview with Yzerman and Gretzky on Saturday night. Gretzky was very careful to not offer any firm comment on any player or coaching selections, saying that this is Yzerman's team and those questions are for him to handle.
Yzerman was wisely non-committal to any of Ron MacLean's questions, only offering a timeline to pick the coaching staff. That time will not likely come until the summer of 2009 so Yzerman can properly assess this season's happenings.
Many felt, including myself, that the two earliest candidates for the coaching job were Detroit coach Mike Babcock and Gretzky, who now coaches the Phoenix Coytoes. However Gretzky all but completely removed his name from consideration as head coach in the interview with MacLean.
In the past several weeks Gretzky has hinted to the media that Canada should pick the best coach available, and that he did not consider himself to be that coach.
I previously argued that, with the right coaching staff, Gretzky's stature could over rule any concerns.
With Gretzky's name apparently out of the mix, Mike Babcock becomes the odds on favorite, especially given his connection to Yzerman and Holland. Ken Hitchcock and Andy Murray also jump to mind as strong candidates. Both have strong connections to Hockey Canada, as does Tom Renney. Lindy Ruff, Guy Carbonneau and Brent Sutter may also be on the radar.
What about the greatest coach of all time, Scotty Bowman? He does have great ties to Yzerman and Holland, after all.
"No, no, I was maybe in the running many, many years ago, but they've got so many coaches in the NHL now, they've got lots to choose from," Bowman told ESPN's Pierre Lebrun. "It's going to be a tough selection."