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Penguins’ Mike Sullivan named U.S. men’s Olympic head coach

mike sullivan

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 02: Head coach Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins watches the action from the bench against the Detroit Red Wings during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on April 2, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Pittsburgh 4-1. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Mike Sullivan of the Penguins has been named head coach of the 2022 U.S. men’s Olympic team.

“Mike is a proven winner and has been involved with USA Hockey on the international stage on many occasions,” said U.S. men’s general manager Stan Bowman. “He knows what it takes to get a team ready in a short tournament and we could not be happier to have him as our head coach as we look to bring home gold.”

The 2022 Winter Olympics will take place from Feb. 4-20, 2022 in Beijing, China.

Sullivan, the only American coach to win the Stanley Cup multiple times, has held numerous role in USA Hockey management over the years. He was an assistant under Peter Laviolette at the 2006 Olympics; head coach the 2007 World Championship team; assistant at the 2008 Worlds; scout for the 2015 national junior team; and an assistant at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey under John Tortorella.

NHL Olympic deal yet to be worked out

USA Hockey now has a head coach, general manager, and AGM (Bill Guerin), but no deal has been struck to send NHL players to Beijing. The IIHF, IOC and NHL continue to work on an agreement with the Winter Olympics seven months away. One of the roadblocks that prevented participation in PyeongChang 2018 was the IOC declining to help with transportation and insurance costs, as well as preventing the NHL from using footage from games.

Last week, the NHL released its 2021-22 schedule with a February Olympic break built in, but also with the note that adjustments will be made if an agreement is not worked out. Commissioner Gary Bettman said during the Stanley Cup Final that the resolution date the league had in mind had already past, but they are committed to working out a deal after agreeing to do so for the NHLPA during last summer’s Collective Bargaining Agreement talks.

Should NHL players stay home for the second straight Olympics, USA Hockey assistant executive director John Vanbiesbrouck does have a Plan B regarding the management team, allowing Bowman, Sullivan, and Guerin to go back working with their respective teams.

If a deal is reached, USA Hockey has said it would like to hold an orientation camp at some point over the summer and announce the roster around Jan. 1, 2022.

2022 Olympic men’s tournament groups

Group A: Canada (1), USA (6), Germany (7), China (12)
Group B: Russia (2), Czech Republic (5), Switzerland (8), Qualifier 3 (11)
Group C: Finland (3), Sweden (4), Qualifier 1 (9), Qualifier 2 (10)

The final three qualifier spots (winner from each group) are still scheduled to be decided in late August.

Group D: Slovakia (host), Belarus, Austria, Poland
Group E: Latvia (host), France, Italy, Hungary
Group F: Norway (host), Denmark, Korea, Slovenia


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.