In late December 2021, John Vanbiesbrouck became the latest General Manager of the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. He immediately was presented with a challenging situation. No NHL players would be available for the Beijing Olympics. Due to Covid related problems, the NHL decided that none of its players or coaches would participate. So Vanbiesbrouck would have to fill the roster from college, European, and hockey players from leagues other than the NHL.
Fortunately for U.S. hockey, Vanbiesbrouck has a wealth of hockey experience. He has been both a professional hockey executive and a player. He played as a goaltender for five different NHL teams. He was such an outstanding player that he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
When Vanbiesbrouck retired from playing hockey, he served in several executive positions within professional hockey organizations. Eventually this led to him being hired by USA Hockey as the Assistant Executive Director of Hockey Operations. In this capacity he became involved in selecting players for the US national teams.
Recently, under his guidance, USA Hockey released the roster for the 2022 U.S. Olympics Men's Ice Hockey Team. The roster consists of fifteen college players, eight European pros and two players from the American Hockey League (AHL). Regarding having so many college players on the roster, Vanbiesbrouck said, "The thinking definitely wasn’t a keg party at a frat house. This is for the here and now. Not once were we thinking of a distant future. We responded quickly, we picked a path and a core group.”
The 2022 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team will be sporting new uniforms announced in late November. Jerseys and hoodies will feature a horizontal band with a field of stars around the entirety of the garments with “USA” written within it in white with red trim.