Burke and Des­jardins to lead Team Canada

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Sean Burke and Wil­lie Des­jardins have been charged with find­ing and lead­ing non-Na­tional Hockey League tal­ent for Team Canada at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

Burke will serve as Canada’s GM for the 2017-18 sea­son with for­mer Canucks coach Des­jardins be­hind the bench.

Burke, a pro scout with the Cana­di­ens, will be aided on the man­age­ment side by an­other for­mer goal­tender in Martin Brodeur, as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager of the St. Louis Blues.

With the NHL elect­ing not to par­tic­i­pate in South Korea, Canada will be with­out the mar­quee names that won gold at the 2002, 2010 and 2014 Olympics. Pyeongchang ends a streak of five con­sec­u­tive Win­ter Olympics with NHL play­ers.

While many have called this Plan B, Hockey Canada CEO Tom Ren­ney sees it dif­fer­ently. “This is our plan, it is our Plan A,” he told a me­dia con­fer­ence call Tues­day. “It’s a twist of fate for sure, but we love the op­por­tu­nity thanks to the gen­tle­men that we have in­tro­duced ear­lier to­day.”

Other man­age­ment mem­bers are Hockey Canada’s Scott Smith and Scott Sal­mond. Coach­ing staff will in­clude as­sis­tants Dave King, Scott Walker and Craig Wood­croft.

Hockey Canada says it has been scout­ing play­ers, with two tour­na­ments next month in Rus­sia kick­ing off the road to Pyeongchang.

The ros­ters for those events — the Sochi Hockey Open Aug. 6-9 and the Tour­na­ment of Niko­lai Puchkov in St. Peters­burg, Aug. 14-17 — have al­ready been stocked with the likes of for­mer NHLers Max Tal­bot, Derek Roy, Ma­son Ray­mond, Ben Scrivens, Justin Peters and Cam Barker — all now play­ing in Europe.

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