USA Hockey Magazine

October 2018

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Page 41 of 61

By Philip Colvin Caption here please here Caption here please here United Skates Star-Studded Tribute Pays Homage To The Man Known As 'Mr. USA Hockey' PHOTOS BY Credit Here 40 // OCTOBER 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM I f y o u l i st e n t o A m e r i c a 's b e st y o u n g players, USA Hockey 's success on the international stage and in developing high-caliber NHL stars can be traced to the passion, personality and dedication of one man—Jim Johannson. Johannson, known to everyone as 'JJ,' passed away on Jan. 21 at his home in Colorado Springs after serving 18 years with USA Hockey, the last 11 as assistant executive director of hockey operations. D u r i n g h i s t e n u r e , 1 3 2 A m e r i c a n s w e r e selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, and U.S. teams captured 64 medals in major international competition, including 34 gold, 19 silver and 11 bronze. And while Johannson's hockey creden- tials were impeccable, it was his humility, warmth and caring ways that players remem- ber most. "The first time you met him you felt that you had known him your whole life. He made you feel comfortable," said Detroit Red Wings veteran forward Justin Abdelkader. "I think of him as 'Mr. USA Hockey.' He had that big of an impact on guys and USA Hockey." More than 40 American players came out to the USA Hockey Arena to pay their respects to the man who helped launch their careers.

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