PLAYERS MOURN LOSS OF USA HOCKEY GM JIM JOHANNSON

PLAYERS MOURN LOSS OF USA HOCKEY GM JIM JOHANNSON

Hockey lost a great man on Sunday morning when general manager Jim Johannson died unexpectedly.

 

“Jim’s positive influence was enormous and will be felt for generations to come,” USA Hockey president Jim Smith said in a release. “He was widely respected across the world and his genuine nature helped advance our sport in so many ways. Today, we are a medal contender every time we put a team on the ice for international competition, and he played a major role in helping us get to that point. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his entire family. It’s a sad day for all of us.”

 

With the NHL out of the Olympics for the first time since 1994, Johannson was excited about putting together a 25-man roster that would include “25 great stories.” He picked Tony Granato as coach and on Jan. 1 unveiled a diverse roster made up of players from European professional leagues, the American Hockey League and the NCAA.

 

“It’s awful,” said defenseman Ryan Suter, who’s known Johannson since he was about 10 years. “He was a great person. He did so much for me personally in my career and for so many others. He helped develop USA Hockey into what it is now. It’s absolutely awful. I feel so sad for his wife and his daughter. It’s a sad time for USA Hockey.”

 

“It’s terrible,” added winger Zach Parise, who has known Johannson since he was about 15 years old. “Just really shocking. I don’t know what to think about it. It’s so sad. What a good guy he was. I can’t believe it. It doesn’t seem real. … He was everything with USA Hockey.”

 

Source: www.twincities.com

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