As we begin the one-year countdown to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, the debates over who should represent their country will increase in volume. Colleagues Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun have already assembled their early Olympic rosters, and it won't be their last cracks at them.
It's not an easy job to pick the rosters as a journalist and is even harder to do in real life. Same goes for the coaches. For the Team USA brain trust, the options are strong to follow Ron Wilson's impressive job guiding the Americans to silver in Vancouver.
But early-season signs have underlined the belief that it's Dan Bylsma's job to lose. His Pittsburgh Penguins are battling the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and looking every bit like a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
Just to be safe, I checked with Bylsma this week to see if there had been any recent conversations between him and USA Hockey regarding the coaching position.
"I have not been in contact with USA Hockey over the coach of the Olympic team, who is coaching or what the situation is," he said. "My involvement with USA Hockey ... the last couple years has gone up, and I very much want it to go forward into the future, into the Olympic year."
That's about as far as Bylsma will go in making a case for himself. He doesn't have to.
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