Hockey Canada has announced its management group for Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games, if NHL players are able to participate.
St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong has been named general manager, leading a group that includes Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland, Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis, Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney, Florida Panthers executive Roberto Luongo and Senior VP of national teams Scott Salmond.
"Learning from Steve Yzerman, there may be one person that’s the focal point with the media, but at the end of the day, it’s a group effort,” Armstrong told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun in The Athletic. “I was excited to be part of the last two (NHL) Olympics and obviously the World Cup, but obviously it’s such a different animal now with the potential of youth being served now and being part of something where you’re really building because we haven’t been there for eight years.
"But honestly, any time you’re associated with Hockey Canada, it’s a great honour.’’
The management group – overseen by Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney and Hockey Canada COO Scott Smith – will select Team Canada’s coaching and support staff for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, which will be announced at a later date.
“It is an exciting time to be able to introduce the members of Canada’s management group, who each bring a tremendous amount of international and championship experience that will benefit our team if NHL players are able to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics,” said Renney in a statement. “Under Doug’s leadership, as well as that of our entire management group, we’re thrilled to task them to lead us into 2022, with the opportunity to oversee our staff and players as they compete for an Olympic gold medal.”
Armstrong, in his 11th season as general manager of the Blues, takes the reins for the first time as general manager, having previously served as a member of the management group in 2010 and 2014, winning a pair of gold medals. He led the Blues to the Stanley Cup in 2019 and previously spent 16 years with the Dallas Stars, winning the Stanley Cup as assistant GM in 1999.
Holland served with Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team management group in 2010 and 2014, winning two Olympic gold medals. He was also general manager of Team Canada at the 2006 IIHF World Championship, won silver as assistant general manager in 2005 and was part of the management group in 2013. The Hall of Fame builder is in his second season as general manager and president of hockey operations with the Oilers after 22 seasons as general manager of the Detroit Red Wings that included three Stanley Cups.
Francis won a silver medal with Canada’s management group at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, and was co-general manager at the 2018 Spengler Cup when Canada finished second. The two-time Stanley Cup champion and Hockey Hall of Famer was named general manager of the Kraken in July 2019 after 12 seasons in the front office of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Luongo, who will lead the team’s goaltender evaluation, represented Canada in three Olympics, winning two gold medals. He also played in four IIHF World Championships, winning two gold medals and one silver, along with a World Cup of Hockey championship in 2004. He was also Top Goaltender at the 1999 IIHF World Junior Championship, backstopping Canada to silver. He is one of only three goaltenders in NHL to play more than 1,000 games, was twice named to the NHL Second All-Star Team, won the William M. Jennings Trophy in 2010-11 and ranks third all-time in wins (489).
Sweeney represented his country once as a player, helping Canada to a gold medal at the 1997 IIHF World Championship. He is in his sixth season as general manager of the Boston Bruins. He played 15 of his 16 NHL seasons with the Bruins, helping the team to the Stanley Cup Final in 1990, and rejoined the organization as director of player development in 2006. He became assistant general manager in 2009, winning the Stanley Cup in 2011.More to follow.