Source: Wilson to coach Olympic team

Updated: April 4, 2009, 3:08 AM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

Ron Wilson

Wilson

Ron Wilson is expected to be named head coach of the U.S. Olympic hockey team on Monday for the 2010 Vancouver Games, a source said.

USA Hockey said the coach for the men's team will be announced Monday morning, but declined to comment on whether the choice was Wilson, who served as coach of the U.S. team at the 1998 Nagano Olympics that was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

He was in no mood to discuss the appointment after the Leafs lost 8-5 to the Flyers on Friday night.

"See you next year," Wilson said when asked if he could confirm he'll coach the U.S. team.

"If I am named, it would be a tremendous honor, but as far as I know nothing's going to be determined until Monday," Wilson said after the Toronto Maple Leafs' morning skate in Philadelphia on Friday. Of his past Team USA coaching opportunities, Wilson said, "I've been fortunate enough to probably coach more games than anybody ... it's a lot of fun. It's a challenge. It's a short-term event, short-term preparation.

"The tremendous pride you have when you represent your country, whether you're representing Canada or the United States, when they play the anthems there's nothing better."

Burnside: Wilson only OK

Faced with a potential public-relations minefield, Brian Burke chose to wade right in by naming Ron Wilson as U.S. Olympic hockey coach for the 2010 Games in Vancouver next February, Scott Burnside writes. Story

Wilson, 53, coached the United States to a 1996 World Cup of Hockey upset victory over Team Canada. He's also coached the U.S. at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, as well as at the 1994 and 1996 IIHF world hockey championships, winning a bronze in '96.

Wilson was born in Windsor, Ontario, but has dual citizenship. He was named 27th head coach in Maple Leafs history last June after previous NHL coaching stops in San Jose, Washington and Anaheim.

Under Wilson this season, the rebuilding Leafs surpassed most preseason predictions of a last-place finish, though Toronto will miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.

Wilson's general manager with Team USA is Brian Burke, who also works in that capacity for the Maple Leafs.

Wilson also represented the United States as a player on the national team in 1975, 1981, 1983 and 1987.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.