By John Vogl
NEW YORK -- Mike Gilbert remembers being lucky enough to watch Team USA's triumph over Russia in the 1980 Olympics live on Canadian television. He's going to be even more fortunate next year. He'll be watching the 2014 Games live in Russia, and he'll be part of it.
USA Hockey today named Gilbert to its public relations staff for the Olympics in Sochi. The Sabres' longtime vice president of public and community relations is the only one selected to join Dave Fischer, USA Hockey's senior director of communications.
"It was a little humbling," Gilbert said. "I was surprised and I was honored at the same time to be recognized that way."
Gilbert was part of USA Hockey's news conference today in which it named Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma as coach and Nashville's David Poile as general manager. Pittsburgh's Ray Shero will be the associate GM and Brian Burke will be director of player personnel. The national team advisory group will include Stan Bowman (Chicago), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles) and Dale Tallon (Florida).
"It really didn’t sink in a lot until today," Gilbert said. "You see all the GMs. Stan Bowman, who won the Stanley Cup a week ago, was right there. Dave Poile and Ray Shero, all these different people, and it started hitting home that, ‘Wow, these guys are the best in the United States,' and to be part of that in a small way was neat."