Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of USA Hockey and the general manager of the 2018 U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey team, passed away in his sleep early this morning at his home in Colorado Springs.
Johannson, born March 10, 1964, in Rochester, Minnesota, had a life-long career in hockey and was one of the most accomplished and respected people in the sport.
“We are beyond shocked and profoundly saddened,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “As accomplished as Jim was in hockey, he was the absolute best, most humble, kind and caring person you could ever hope to meet. His impact on our sport and more importantly the people and players in our sport have been immeasurable. Our condolences go out to his entire family, but especially to his loving wife Abby and their young daughter Ellie.”
Johannson came to USA Hockey in 2000 after spending five years (1995-2000) as the general manager of the Twin Cities Vulcans, a Junior A team in the United States Hockey League. Under his guidance, the Vulcans captured the 2000 USA Hockey Junior A National Championship in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Johannson began his career at USA Hockey as manager of international activities and U.S. Olympic Committee relations, was promoted to senior director of hockey operations on August 5, 2003, and on June 25, 2007, assumed the position of assistant executive director of hockey operations, where he had oversight of all in-sport related initiatives, including USA Hockey’s efforts in putting teams on the field of play for international competition.
Among the numerous accomplishments during his tenure, among the most significant were capturing 64 medals in major international competition, including 34 gold, 19 silver and 11 bronze; the launching and implementation of the highly acclaimed American Development Model; and securing USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, as a home for all U.S. teams to utilize.