Steve Yzerman will now have two long-term goals to work on, in hopes of one day adding both to his already impressive resume of accomplishments in professional hockey.
Aside from his aspirations to help the Tampa Bay Lightning capture its second Stanley Cup, Yzerman will also work diligently to bring yet another Olympic gold medal to his native country in his role as Executive Director of Team Canada for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, a position to which he was named Monday afternoon at a ceremony in Calgary.
“I would like to thank Hockey Canada for the opportunity to return to this role of executive director,” Yzerman said. “While winning in Vancouver was something unique and extraordinary, I am as excited about taking on another great challenge. I look forward to working with the Hockey Canada staff to put a plan in place to bring Canada success internationally.”
Finding success with Team Canada, however, will be nothing new to Yzerman.
Just two years ago, he served as the architect of Canada’s 2010 squad that won the Olympic gold in Vancouver on Sidney Crosby’s overtime goal against the United States in the championship game.
For the upcoming Olympic competition in 2014, Yzerman will have his same core of assistants join him in an attempt to repeat as tournament champions, as St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong, Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland and Edmonton Oilers President Kevin Lowe were also retained as key members of Yzerman’s executive team on Monday.
The group will oversee and lead operations for Canada’s National Men’s Team, including staff selection and player evaluation as well as team operations for international events. Hockey Canada’s Senior Director of National Teams and Hockey Operations, Scott Salmond, will continue to oversee team logistics, working closely with the management group.
Hockey Canada also announced, in collaboration with Yzerman, that Lowe will be the General Manager of Canada’s entry at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. Lowe will be supported by the entire management group, as well as two assistant general managers.
“We were pleased and excited to hear Hockey Canada’s announcement today naming Steve as its Executive Director through 2013-14,” said Lightning Chairman and Governor Jeff Vinik. “I believe his selection is well deserved, and all of us at the Lightning are proud to have our General Manager leading the charge for his home country in the 2014 Olympic Games. Steve’s successes for Hockey Canada in 2010 helped draw us to him in our search for a General Manager that spring, and I am confident that he will continue to do an excellent job for Tampa Bay while overseeing the Canadian men’s national program.”
The NHL is not yet committed to sending its players to the 2014 Games in Sochi, an issue that will be discussed this year for the new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NHL Players' Association.