Chicago Blackhawks color commentator Eddie Olczyk may secretly harbor dreams to once again take up a head coaching position in the NHL, but with no jobs available, he’s finding a different way to get back on the bench.
That’s because Olczyk, who was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012, will be coaching one of the teams in USA Hockey’s All-American Prospects game on September 25. The game, which will be played in Buffalo, will feature 42 of the top American prospects that will be eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, and Olczyk will be opposed by former Buffalo Sabres player Mike Grier.
The rosters haven’t been finalized for the game yet, but several Illinois natives will be hitting the ice. Mike Floodstrand of Hinsdale will be playing in the game, and Christian Fischer of Wayne, Illinois will be joining him. Fischer will be playing college hockey this fall with the University of Notre Dame. He will be joined at the school by Tory Dello, a defenseman who hails from Crystal Lake.
Olczyk coached for 113 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2003-04 and 2005-06 seasons, finishing with a career record of 31-64-8-10. He was rumored to be a candidate for several coaching vacancies during the offseason, but after not getting any formal offers he will remain alongside Pat Foley in the Blackhawks’ TV booth and Mike Emrick in the NBC booth this season.