Monday, April 6, 2009

Ron Wilson Declared Coach of America

You all knew this was coming, right? 

I've long figured that Ultra-Ron was the man for this job, though no thinking hockey fan can disagree with Greg Wyshynski when he writes:

Tortorella would have provided a fiery presence behind the bench. Laviolette is every bit the tactician Wilson is. The difference between the two and Wilson is one of philosophy: Theirs is up-tempo hockey in an Olympic environment that frequently calls for it, and Wilson is a more conservative coach by comparison.
If the idea is to cut down on mistakes with a core of young talent in order to win, then Ron's your guy. If the idea is to let young stars like Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils go talent-for-talent with the Canadians and Russians, then Wilson's not the right fit.

Indeed. Either Tortorella or LaViolette would have made a fine coach for Team USA, but I think that Wilson is the best guy for as young and comparatively inexperienced a squad as the likely 2010 Americans. One day Kane, Parise, and company will be able to go talent-to-talent with the Russians, Canadians, and Swedes, but I'm not sure if this upcoming Olympics will be their year. Perhaps it's better to play a conservative style when you're battling teams that feature top six attacks like Ovechkin-Malkin-Frolov/Kovalchuk-Datsyuk-Semin and Lecavalier-Thornton-Iginla/Nash-Crosby-Heatley.

But then again, maybe the up-tempo style of Tortorella or LaViolette would stun the other teams with sheer fire and grit and earn the US the Gold Medal. Stranger things have happened.

So what do you kids think? Is Crazy Ron the man to lead Team USA?

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