Former New York Rangers head coach David Quinn of Cranston, RI has been named the head coach of the United States national team in men’s hockey for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing according to Stephen Whyno of Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday. A coaching change was required after the National Hockey League made the determination last week not to send its players to China. The reason given was the need to make up games in their schedule due to the high number of lost games in December due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Quinn, who coached the Rangers from 2018 to 2021, was initially supposed to be an assistant coach for Team USA. He was to work under the guidance of head coach Mike Sullivan. However, Sullivan is no longer available to coach the United States, as his regular job is head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Now the work for Quinn, and USA General Manger John Vanbiesbrouck, is to put a team together in a short period of time. The American squad is expected to be made up of players who have experience at the NCAA level, American Hockey League level, and are currently playing professionally in Europe.
Team Canada also has a notable coach with plenty of NHL experience at the helm. Claude Julien of Blind River, Ontario, is the bench boss. Julien coached the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils over 19 NHL seasons. His most notable season was 2010-11, when he won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins.
The United States are in Group A, alongside Canada, Germany and China. The Canadians and Germans were both on the podium at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. The Germans won a stunning silver, while Canada won bronze.
Unlike the United States women’s hockey team who have won two gold medals at the Olympic Winter Games since 1998, the United States men’s hockey team has not been on the top of the Olympic podium since the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid. The tournament was notably called “The Miracle on Ice.”