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Thursday, August 18, 2011
Report: Bylsma wants to coach Team USA

By ESPN.com

Will Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma lead the USA Hockey team in the 2014 Sochi Olympics?

It seems like the answer would be "yes" if Bylsma got his way.

While there is still no decision about whether NHL players will be allowed to participate in the Games, Bylsma has done some work with USA Hockey this summer and seems interested in being the team's head coach.

"I'd be more than willing to be a part of a staff, but my goal isn't just to be a part of a staff," Bylsma said at the Research, Development and Orientation Camp this week, according to NHL.com. "At least, the written goal is not just to be part of the staff."

Bylsma worked with coaches at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., last week. Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero told NHL.com that working with USA Hockey has been a goal of Bylsma's since he joined the Penguins' organization.

"For me, there is a great deal of passion and energy and I get jacked up about going to Lake Placid and being with those kids," Bylsma said, according to NHL.com. "And it was the first time for me to wear the USA Hockey on my jacket. I took it home and I'll be wearing it proudly."

Shero added that Bylsma has been on the radar of USA Hockey executive Jim Johansson.

While working with prospects at the R&D Camp this week, Bylsma also faced questions about his captain, Sidney Crosby.

"Especially in the summertime, I try not to get involved in this type of, 'How are you feeling' conversation," Bylsma told NHL.com. "There are things I would normally talk about with Sid and those are the captain's stuff like scheduling with the team. If I was to talk to him now, I wouldn't say, 'How do you feel today?' I would say, 'Where are you now?' I would ask, 'When are you coming to Pittsburgh?' I would ask, 'How many fish did you catch up in Nova Scotia?'"

Shero said Monday the former MVP is still dealing with concussion-like symptoms and it's too soon to know if Crosby will be available when the Penguins open camp next month.

"There's no expectation from me that he won't be ready or he will be ready," Shero said.

Crosby hasn't played in a game since Jan. 5, missing the rest of the regular season and Pittsburgh's first-round playoff loss to Tampa Bay as he slowly recovered from a concussion. He said in April he would be back for training camp, but with about a month to go before the team reports, Shero wouldn't guarantee No. 87 will be in uniform.

The 24-year-old Crosby has spent the summer in Canada working out on his own, and Shero doesn't anticipate Crosby returning to Pittsburgh until a week before camp begins.