Getty Images

Canada names Olympic men’s hockey coach

Leave a comment

Willie Desjardins was named Canada’s men’s hockey coach for the Olympics on Tuesday, three months after the Vancouver Canucks fired him after three seasons.

Desjardins, 60, will coach the first Canadian Olympic team without NHL participation since the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games.

Sean Burke, a 1988 and 1992 Canadian Olympic goalie, is the general manager.

With NHL players, Canada won the 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles. In PyeongChang, Canada can become the first nation to three-peat as Olympic men’s hockey champion since the Soviet Union in 1976.

Canada will use a series of tournaments in the next several months to evaluate players before it names its 25-man Olympic team.

Former NHL players Cam BarkerBen Scrivens and Max Talbot all played last season in the Russian KHL, which does take an Olympic break. All three will play for Canada in games in Russia in August.

Players in the American Hockey League, the top NHL feeder league, who aren’t on NHL contracts will also be eligible for PyeongChang.

Every Canadian Olympic men’s coach in the NHL participation era was also an NHL head coach that season — Marc Crawford (1998), Pat Quinn (2002 and 2006) and Mike Babcock (2010 and 2014).

The U.S. Olympic men’s hockey coach is expected to be announced in early August.

MORE: NHL releases schedule with no Olympic break

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

World downhill champion Ilka Stuhec tears ACL

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lindsey Vonn’s top rival for downhill gold is in danger of missing the upcoming Olympics.

Ilka Stuhec, a world champion Alpine skier from Slovenia, suffered a torn ACL after a practice crash in Austria this weekend.

Stuhec had become a strong medal favorite for PyeongChang after winning FIS World Cup titles in downhill and Alpine combined last season. She also won a gold medal in downhill at the 2017 World Championships, where Vonn placed third.

According to a post on the FIS website, surgery is set for this Wednesday, with more information to come after that. But preliminary reports suggest that she is likely to miss the Olympics.

“For now it looks like Ilka Stuhec will have to miss a large part or maybe the whole World Cup season, including the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea,” a spokesperson for Struhec told Reuters.

In a tweet, Struhec acknowledged that she would be sidelined “for a few months.”

The Olympics start in less than four months.

 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard mourns after 17-year-old aerials skier found dead

U.S. Ski & Snowboard
Leave a comment

Mikey Lillis, a 17-year-old aerials skier, died in his sleep at his home in East Rochester, N.Y., overnight Saturday, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

“We are a family, and as a family our entire team grieves for Mikey, his own family and his teammates,” U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw said in a statement. “We’ll remember him for the pathway he was following and the goals he was beginning to achieve. Our condolences go out to his parents Bernie and Jamie and the entire Lillis family.”

Lillis was working his way to join his two older brothers at the elite international level. He made three podiums on the Nor-Am Cup tour between the last two seasons.

Jon Lillis, 23, is the reigning world champion in aerials. Chris Lillis, 19, won the FIS Rookie of the Year award last season with four top-10 finishes on the World Cup.