Hockey

Wilson to coach U.S. Olympic hockey team: sources

USA Hockey will officially announce its 2010 Olympic men's hockey coach on Monday, and it appears Ron Wilson will again be behind the bench.

USA Hockey will officially announce its 2010 Olympic men's hockey coach on Monday, and it appears Ron Wilson will again be behind the bench.

The Toronto Maple Leafs coach will get the job and again be working for Brian Burke, sources have told the Canadian Press and ESPN.

Maple Leafs general manager Burke holds the same title for the U.S. team set to play at the Vancouver Games.

Wilson was coy when questioned by reporters in Philadelphia, where Toronto plays on Friday night.

"If I am named, it'd be a tremendous honour," he said. "As far as I know, nothing's going to be determined until Monday."

Wilson, 53, was selected to coach the U.S. at the 1998 Nagano Olympics by GM Lou Lamoriello, where the team finished a disappointing sixth.

The result came just 18 months after Wilson coached the Americans to their biggest professional tournament win ever, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. The U.S. defeated Canada in the final in Montreal.

He also coached the U.S. team at the 2004 World Cup.

The late Herb Brooks, who famously guided American amateurs to the gold medal in 1980, was behind the bench as the U.S. took silver in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, with Peter Laviolette's team in Torino in 2006 stumbling to an eighth-place finish. 

Wilson is in his first year as coach of the Maple Leafs after signing a lucrative four-year deal last May. The club earlier this week was eliminated from the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

He previously coached the San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks, and has an overall NHL record of 550 wins, 458 losses, 59 overtime losses and 101 ties.

Wilson and Burke played hockey together at Providence College in the mid-1970s but never worked together in an NHL capacity until this season.

Wilson spent the first 12 years of his life in Ontario — he was born in Windsor and lived in Fort Erie — before his family moved to Rhode Island. He holds dual citizenship.

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