The Athletic’s Julie Robenhymer penned an article discussing Team USA’s desire to earn a World Championship title to honor the legacy of long-time Team USA executive Jim Johannsson:
On January 21st, the international hockey community was rocked by the news of Jim Johannson’s sudden death.
Officially, he was USA Hockey’s assistant executive director in charge the various responsibilities associated with international competitions and was in charge of selecting teams for most of those events including the past ten world championships at the U18, U20 and men’s levels and was even the general manager for Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Unofficially, he was the heart and soul of USA Hockey.
As Team USA faces Czech Republic in the quarterfinals of the 2018 IIHF World Championship on Thursday in Denmark, the players, coaches and staff of USA Hockey are doing their best to honor the man known as JJ by all who knew him with USA’s first gold medal at this tournament since 1933.
“Every one of us has some sort of a relationship with JJ and the impact he’s had on each of our careers and our lives has been significant whether it was playing for a world junior team or at the NTDP or the USHL or going to festivals or simply growing up as an American hockey player,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the Detroit Red Wings and Team USA. “JJ pushed the envelope for USA Hockey and he allowed for USA Hockey to reach greater heights.”