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Ron Wilson said to be next U.S. Olympic coach

April 3, 2009 |  1:07 pm

According to the Canadian website TSN.ca, USA Hockey on Monday will appoint Ron Wilson as coach of the U.S. men's Olympic hockey team for the Vancouver Games.

There's no reason to doubt TSN's report. Wilson, former coach of the Ducks and currently coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is a longtime pal of Brian Burke, who is general manager of both the Leafs and Team USA. It makes sense. 

I'm not sure it makes for a winning formula.

Under constant media scrutiny this season in Toronto, the self-proclaimed Capital of the Hockey Universe, Wilson has been surly, smug and outright rude. He will face international scrutiny at the Olympics, and similarly rude behavior would reflect badly on him, the U.S. and USA Hockey.

Wilson last coached the Olympic men's team in 1998, the first tournament that involved NHL players. We all remember how that turned out, with the trashed dorm rooms and a sixth-place finish. Yes, he also coached the U.S. to victory in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, but that was a long time ago.

Were there really no other American coaches with better qualifications? Or was this just cronyism?

-- Helene Elliott