USA Hockey announced their head coaches for the 2022 Winter Olympic games in February. The head coach for the men’s team is Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The women’s head coach is Joel Johnson, the head coach for the University of St. Thomas.
Introducing USA Hockey Men’s Coach Mike Sullivan
Mike Sullivan, who is the Penguins coach, will coach Team USA in the Olympics for the first time. However, in his career, he has coached on the international level. Sullivan was the assistant coach for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin under head coach Peter Laviolette. Also, he was the assistant coach of the World Championship team in 2008 and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Sullivan has been the head coach of Team USA but at the World Championships in 2007.
However, a key thing to keep an eye out for is if the NHL players will participate or it will be like the 2018 Olympics when college and AHL players played. Mike Sullivan addressed the status of the NHL players and the Olympics,
“I’m going to operate on the premise that the NHL and the (International) Olympic Committee are going to work towards an agreement and we’re going to participate. That’s the approach that we have to take and, we’re just entrusting that the powers that be are going to work out an agreement and hopefully that will be sooner than later.”Mike Sullivan
So, with the questions of the NHL players participating in the games as of now, there is no update on if they will. Interestingly, USA Hockey did not announce a coach if the NHL players do not participate.
Introducing Joel Johnson
Joel Johnson, who will be starting his first season as the University of St. Thomas head coach, will coach the Women’s team. Johnson in his carreer has a vast amount of coaching expierence on the international level. Johnson has served as an assistant coach for the 2018 and 2020 Women’s World Cup. He spoke about the honor it is to lead Team USA for the Olympic Games.
“It is an incredible honor to be given this opportunity as it simply doesn’t get any more special as an athlete or a coach than to represent your country at the highest level. I’m very humbled and consider it a privilege to work with what I know will be a tremendous group of athletes and staff as we prepare for Beijing 2022.”Joel Johnson
However, Sullivan will not have much time to work with his Team before the start of the games. Johnson will lead Team USA for the 2021 Women’s World Championships, which start on August 20th and run through the 31st.
The Hockey competition for the 2022 Winter Olympics starts on February 3, 2022, a day before the opening ceremony, which is on February 4th.
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