COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — 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, a native of Rochester, Minn., 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.”
I just spoke with Jim about two weeks ago for a story on the upcoming Olympics, and he was always so generous with his time. He cared about every single player, from the Olympic team down to youth hockey, often asking about my experience as a youth parent and what USA Hockey needed to do in order to make the experience better for the kids, who are the future players. He loved hockey, and he loved USA Hockey. This is truly shocking and devastating news.