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Tuesday August 20th, 2013

Dan Bylsma dodged jury duty because of obligations to the U.S. men's Olympic hockey team. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Dan Bylsma dodged jury duty because of obligations to the U.S. men's Olympic hockey team. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Not sure where this ranks on the all-time list of great excuses to get out of jury duty, but it has to be right up there.

Faced with a lengthy stretch of civic duty this week, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wriggled free of his obligation with a unique reason: He couldn't serve because he has to coach the U.S. men's Olympic hockey team this weekend.

Guess that's a little more believable than, say, a note from Epstein's mother.

From the Post-Gazette:

He had two chances to make it onto a criminal court jury -- one for a 2012 Penn Hills slaying and another for a drug case -- but in the end, the 42-year-old's obligation to attend USA Hockey camp in Washington, D.C., this weekend kept him off both panels.

When he learned that the two cases could last more than just a couple of days, he worried about being ready for orientation camp for the men's national team for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Staff is slated to arrive Saturday and players Sunday. "It's really the only time we'll see our players before February prior to getting together to play," he said.

Geez, what is it with Penguins getting special treatment from the government? (I kid, I kid!) Bylsma had already received a deferment from jury duty during the regular season and honestly seemed disappointed he wouldn't be able to serve. "I was very interested in being part of the process," he said.

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