Nashville Predators general manager David Poile, the architect of the 2014 United States Olympic hockey team, won’t be traveling to Sochi after undergoing facial surgery last week.
Poile suffered an eye socket fracture after he was hit in the face with a puck during his team’s morning skate in Minnesota on Feb. 6. He will have to watch his team compete in Sochi from home as he recovers from multiple surgeries.
Ray Shero will serve as acting GM of Team USA in Sochi.
“I first want to thank everyone who has reached out to me since suffering this injury,” Poile said in a statement from the Predators.
“The outpouring of support and comfort has been overwhelming. My priority is to adhere to the advice and counsel of the medical team and, as a result, I will not be traveling to Sochi to be with Team USA during the Winter Olympics. Serving as GM of the U.S. Olympic Team has been the opportunity of a lifetime and I am forever grateful to USA Hockey. However, it is not possible for me to travel at this time, but I will remain in contact with Ray Shero, Brian Burke, Jim Johansson and our coaching staff during the Games. Team USA is in great hands and I will be there in spirit. I wish all the best for our players, coaches and entire group as they begin play in the 2014 Olympics and go for the gold.”
The United States opens its preliminary round schedule on Thursday against Slovakia.