Tony Granato named coach of 2018 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team
The management and coaching staff for the 2018 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team were announced Friday for the first Olympics in more than 20 years in which NHL players will not be participating.
Tony Granato, a former Kings player who coaches Wisconsin, was named coach. He has extensive international experience as a player, notably the 1988 Olympics, and was an assistant coach on the 2014 Olympic team. His assistant coaches are Chris Chelios, Keith Allain, Ron Rolston and Scott Young.
Jim Johannson, a two-time Olympic player and longtime manager for the national team, was named general manager and is tasked with forming a roster that will primarily be composed of players from the NCAA, the American Hockey League and those playing in Europe.
The NHL announced in April that it will not participate in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It ends a run of five Winter Games with NHL players that began in 1998.
Granato told reporters he was honored to be coach and said the U.S. is equipped to compete for a medal in the new format.
“I think that our depth is at its greatest point for USA Hockey,” Granato told reporters. “You look at the programs, the USHL, the North American [Hockey] League. Our development program here has been such a staple for helping us in international play, preparing our players. The growth of our game continues to grow and grow and grow.”
The U.S. will play in the Deutschland Cup on Nov. 10-12, in Augsburg, Germany, with mostly European-based players, Johannson said.
“We’ll use that as kind of a basis to start to build out where we think we’re headed roster-wise, and then, from that, start to plug in spots, so to speak, where guys will be utilized,” Johannson said.
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