USA Hockey announced Los Angeles Kings president and GM Dean Lombardi as the GM for Team USA at the upcoming 2016 World Cup of Hockey on Thursday.
USA Hockey took the opportunity to name the full management group for the squad, introducing Philadelphia Flyers president Paul Holmgren as the assistant general manager, Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke (who was not present at the press conference) as the senior advisor and assistant executive director of USA Hockey Jim Johannson as the team’s director of hockey operations.
USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean said at the press conference that “[Lombardi has] been an invaluable part of our men’s national team advisory group and obviously done a remarkable job in building the Kings. In addition, having the experience of Paul Holmgren, Brian Burke and Jim Johannson gives us an exceptional management team and a group we’re confident will put together a team that our country will be proud of.”
Lombardi talked a lot at the conference about the history of USA Hockey, showing his excitement for the general manager position. Talking of the 1996 US Team at the World Cup of Hockey, he said, “They buried egos, accepted roles and were in pursuit of higher goals.”
During the question and answer session, Lombardi didn’t rule out the possibility of major changes to the US roster from what we saw at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He also said he’s open to naming the coach as soon as they’ve made a decision.
While this management group is now in place, USA Hockey took the chance to mention that the NHL and NHLPA will jointly announce the management group for the North American Youngstars team and Team Europe, the European team made up of players whose countries are not participating.
The presence of the Youngstars team presents an interesting wrinkle for the management group, who will be limiting their selection process to players over 23.
The World Cup of Hockey will start on September 17, 2016 in Toronto.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.