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Published January 6, 2014
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: In Boston, Fluto Shinzawa noted USA Hockey provided ESPN.com and USA Today with "unlimited access" to chronicle the Olympic team's assembly. But that decision "was regretful" after controversy arose over Flames President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke's evaluation of Senators LW Bobby Ryan, who was omitted from the team. Burke according to the ESPN.com story said of Ryan, "He is not intense. That word is not in his vocabulary. It's never going to be in his vocabulary." Ryan "did not appreciate the comments." He said that Burke's "rip job was gutless." Team USA GM David Poile said that USA Hockey "had the right to review ESPN.com's and USA Today's material before publication." ESPN.com writer Scott Burnside "declined to comment on if he faced any restrictions or guidelines." Burnside in an e-mail wrote that he "did not record any conversations and was asked not to write about the process until the team was announced on Wednesday." Poile on Friday during a conference call "did not dispute that Burke made the critical comments." But Poile said that there was "just as much positive review on Ryan’s performance." Poile added that when the management team "made its final vote, Burke had Ryan on the team." Poile: "I’m trying to apologize to Bobby Ryan. ... I apologize as much as I can" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/5). The Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE noted Burnside was "embedded in the selection process from beginning to end, and his piece included some brutally honest inside looks into how the team was determined." But "like it or not, these are the real conversations that go on when you are on a committee tasked with trying to assemble the best combination of 25 players" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/5).