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2014 Winter Olympics

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USA hockey controversy puts Burke in the spotlight

Brian Burke
Brian Burke
Richard Wolowicz, Getty Images

According to TSN on Friday, Team USA hockey general manager David Poile of the Nashville Predators has publicly apologized to Ottawa Senators' forward Bobby Ryan for comments Team USA hockey director of player personnel Brian Burke made about Ryan this week.

Ryan was shockingly left off the U.S. Olympic hockey team for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi despite the fact that he has had a fine season (18 goals, 18 assists for 36 points) to date. Ryan has also shown great NHL consistency as he notched 30 goals in four straight seasons from 2009-2012.

According to Scott Burnside of ESPN, Burke, who is also the general manager of the Calgary Flames, said "he's (Ryan) a passive guy. He is not intense. That word is not in his vocabulary. It's never going to be in his vocabulary. He can't spell intense."

Interestingly Burke drafted Ryan 2nd overall in the 2005 National Hockey League Entry Draft while Burke was the general manager of the Anaheim Ducks.

Ryan was on the American silver medal winning roster at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. In six games, Ryan notched a goal and an assist. After the selections were made, former American hockey superstar Mike Modano tweeted, "How the hell does Bobby Ryan not make the USA Hockey Olympic team!!!?".

Vezina Trophy candidate Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle were also questionably not on the U.S. Olympic hockey team.

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