NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. hockey team general manager David Poile is recovering from a third surgery after being hit with an errant puck to the face Feb. 6 that broke his nose and cracked bone around one of his eyes.
Poile, also GM of the Nashville Predators, had surgery Feb. 14 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center so doctors could evaluate the damage around his eye. The team did not say which eye was injured in a statement Tuesday, but noted Poile is wearing a patch and will return to the office later this week.
He was hurt while standing in a tunnel behind the bench in Minnesota during a Predators' pregame skate when a deflected puck hit him. He needed two surgeries in Minnesota, and the injuries preventing Poile from traveling to Sochi. He didn't return to Nashville until Feb. 9. Poile has been limited to communicating with assistant GM Ray Shero in Sochi and watching the team he helped assemble on TV.
"I'm looking forward to watching USA's quest for the gold medal in Sochi and the Predators resuming the playoff race," Poile said. The United States plays Wednesday in the quarterfinals after 2-0-1-0 in the preliminary round trying to win Olympic gold for the first time since 1980. Poile led a selection committee that picked the Olympic team after months of work, and his role in Sochi would have been largely behind the scenes in a supporting role.
Poile thanked the doctors and nurses at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., and at Vanderbilt for the care he received. He also thanked people in Nashville and in hockey for their support and encouragement.
"I know that I have a challenging road ahead, but am going to embrace the challenge and am eager to get back to work," Poile said.