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Brian Burke named president and GM of 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Anaheim Ducks executive vice-president and general manager Brian Burke has been selected to lead the United States' entry at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, USA Hockey announced Friday.

Nashville Predators GM David Poile was named associate GM. Burke led the Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup championship, and is widely considered one of the best GMs in the league.

"I'm very grateful and honoured to be part of the U.S. Olympic Team," Burke said Friday in a statement. "We hope to put a team together for 2010 that Americans can be proud of."

Burke's previous international experience includes serving as GM of the U.S. men's national team at the 1993 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Munich and Dortmund, Germany, where he led the Americans to a sixth-place finish.

"We could not be more pleased than to have Brian as our general manager," USA Hockey president Ron DeGregorio said in a statement. "His record of accomplishment speaks for itself. Brian's drive and fire for the game rub off on you and it's that type of passion that will help lead us to our ultimate goal of winning the gold medal."

Anaheim has a 138-74-34 record in three seasons under Burke, whose contract with the Ducks expires at the end of next season. Speculation about his future has run rampant in recent months, and he has been linked repeatedly with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are looking for a permanent successor to interim GM Cliff Fletcher.

Poile, the Predators' general manager since the franchise started in 1997, was GM of the 1998 and 1999 American teams at the hockey world championship. He also has been president of hockey operations for the Predators since December.

The Americans haven't won gold in Olympic men's hockey since the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. Their best finish in recent history was a second-place result at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, where they lost 5-3 to Canada in the gold-medal game.

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