Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has been named general manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team for the 2022 Beijing Games.
Wild general manager Bill Guerin will serve as an assistant GM on Bowman’s staff.
“The combination of a Stanley Cup-winning GM and a Hall of Fame player who has competed in the Olympics in addition to his experience as an NHL GM, is certainly something we’re excited about,” said USA Hockey assistant executive director of hockey operations John Vanbiesbrouck. “Stan and Bill bring varied experiences over their highly successful careers, but the thing that stands out to me is that they are both winners.”
Bowman worked internationally as an assistant GM for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He’s also been a part of the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group since 2012.
Work still to be done
The key part of any 2022 Olympics/NHL discussion is whether the league will be able to send players. While the NHL and NHLPA agreed in the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement that owners will allow Olympic participation, a deal with the IIHF and IOC still needs to be worked out. One of the roadblocks that prevented participation in Pyeongchang 2018 was the IOC declining to help with transportation and insurance costs, as well as preventing the NHL from using footage from games.
Should a deal not be worked out, Vanbiesbrouck says he does have a Plan B in regards to a management team should it come to that, allowing Bowman and Guerin to continue focusing on their NHL teams.
If a deal is brokered, USA Hockey executive director Pat Kelleher said that an orientation camp will be held sometime over the summer. A roster would then be announced around Jan. 1, 2022.
2022 Olympic men’s tournament groups
Group A: Canada (1), USA (6), Germany (7), China (12)
Group B: Russia (2), Czech Republic (5), Switzerland (8), Qualifier 3 (11)
Group C: Finland (3), Sweden (4), Qualifier 1 (9), Qualifier 2 (10)
The final three qualifier spots (winner from each group) are still scheduled to be decided in late August.
Group D: Slovakia (host), Belarus, Austria, Poland
Group E: Latvia (host), France, Italy, Hungary
Group F: Norway (host), Denmark, Korea, Slovenia