Proud American Hockey League Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks

Our Town Or Team
Buy Tickets


Burke's Team USA Duties Far From Over

08/17/2009 6:19 PM -

From (link)

Even though the 2010 Olympic Games are six months away, USA Men’s Hockey GM Brian Burke knows that his biggest responsibilities are still ahead. Of the 34 players invited to this week’s USA Hockey Orientation Camp, only 23 can make the trip to Vancouver and it is Burke’s job to select those that he thinks have the best shot at gold.

“This is an important three days for us,” Burke said Monday at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, Ill. “If we’ve identified this group properly, the 23-man roster will come out of this camp. It’s going to be an exciting couple of days.”

He may be dealing with the most talented players that the U.S. has to offer, but Burke understands that he and his staff have to put together a complete hockey team. He isn't just interested in assembling a collection of the best players; they have to fit the system as well.

“I think USA Hockey has given us the best talent pool that we’ve ever been able to draw from. It has given us better odds because there are more choices,” he said. “We’re going to look at specific skill sets -- people who do certain things and do them well. We’ve tried to identify specific jobs on a hockey team that each of these players can fill.”

However, the attribute that Burke is looking for most is leadership.

“When we were fortunate enough to win a championship in Anaheim, we won it with a leadership group -- we didn’t just put it all on [captain] Scott Niedermayer,” recalled Burke. “That to me is how teams are successful: identify high-character players who have leadership skills and make them part of your decision making process.”

To get his players into the proper mindset, Burke solicited the help of USA Basketball national director Jerry Colangelo and together the two designed a curriculum for the players. Each attendee to this week’s camp will participate in a series of team-building exercises and discussions with current and former members of the U.S. military, who Burke calls “the real American heroes.”

“I do believe that character is a vital element to putting together a winning team,” Burke said. “I have always stressed that and I always will.”

Burke is hopeful that his Team USA roster will come out of this camp, but he added that USA Hockey has an additional 40 NHL players in the U.S. Anti-doping Agency program, the first requirement for international play. In other words, the race for a roster spot is still wide-open.

“The process is far from over,” Burke said. “If a player comes out of the gate with a great start this season, he is very much alive.”

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
December 0200