The 2022 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team will be led by Chicago Blackhawks’ Stan Bowman, who was announced as the general manager today. He’ll be joined by Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin, who will serve as an assistant GM for the event. Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey, released a statement regarding the hire:
We could not be happier to have the combination of Stan and Bill, with the support of John Vanbiesbrouck, guiding our men’s Olympic team. We have a deep talent pool thanks to so many people, including volunteers at the grassroots level across the country, and it’s great to have the leadership and expertise that Stan and Bill bring in building our team.
Though it is not official yet that NHL players will be competing at the 2022 Olympics, Kelleher remains “hopeful and optimistic” according to Helene Elliott of the LA Times. The team will have an orientation camp this summer and the official roster will be named around New Year’s Day, 2022. If NHL players do go, the U.S. team could potentially be one of the tournament favorites, given the high-end talent that can lead the way. Names like Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel, and Quinn Hughes can join some of the more veteran players like Patrick Kane and John Carlson who were present at the 2014 Games, the last time NHL took part.
Bowman doesn’t have much international experience but will have Guerin to lean on, who actually competed at three different Olympics as a player. Guerin took home a silver medal in 2002 and has previously been an AGM with Team USA at the World Championships.
If the NHL decides not to go, Bowman and Guerin will actually not be managing the team, according to Michael Russo of The Athletic. USA Hockey has a backup plan if that is the case and will have to “adjust accordingly.”