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U.S. GM Poile not going to Sochi

by Shawn P. Roarke

SOCHI -- David Poile, the general manager for the United States men's team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, will not be joining the team in Russia because of injuries he sustained last week when an errant puck struck him in the face during a practice in St. Paul, Minn.

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero will serve as the acting GM for the United States in Sochi. Both announcements were made by USA Hockey after the team concluded its first Olympic practice at the Bolshoy Ice Dome late Monday night.

"He [Poile] is back in Nashville with great care," said Jim Johansson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "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."

Poile, also the general manager of the Nashville Predators, had surgeries to his eye and nose areas Feb. 7 at a St. Paul-area hospital after being in hit in the face during the Predators' morning skate Feb. 6 at Xcel Energy Center. After spending most of the weekend in the hospital for observation, Poile flew back to Nashville on Sunday.

"We are in good and constant contact with David during the past three days and certainly today," Johansson said. "He's our general manager and it is just unfortunate that he can't join us in Sochi. We're going to miss David as a friend. We'll be carrying a big part of him all week."

Shero, who served as an assistant to Poile for eight years in Nashville before taking the job in Pittsburgh, said his role will not change very much despite the absence of Poile.

"A lot of the work has been done," Shero said. "Nothing changes here. I have the experience of JJ [Johansson] and Brian [Burke], who did so well with the 2010 team."

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