After a 12-year hiatus, the World Cup of Hockey is returning. With that, Team USA has their general manager in place: Dean Lombardi of the Los Angeles Kings.
As confirmed by John Hoven of MayorsManor.com, Lombardi will be named GM of Team USA for next year’s World Cup while his assistant, Rob Blake, will be the assistant for Team Canada, supporting Doug Armstrong.
For Lombardi, this is an overdue honour, but an honour nonetheless.
While the likes of Brian Burke and David Poile have certainly deserved to be named general manager of Team USA in past tournaments, it seemed inevitable that Lombardi would be involved in the same capacity. After all, the work he has done in turning a perennial underachiever into a multiple championship winner in the Los Angeles Kings makes him one of the game’s greatest present GMs, regardless of nationality.
Lombardi played key roles for Team USA during the 2010 and 2014 Olympics but this will be his first time heading his native country’s club in a major tournament – and that only adds to his already-impressive resume.
Of course, before Lombardi takes on the reigns as Team USA’s GM later this summer, he will need to deal with a number of issues involving his NHL club, the Los Angeles Kings.
It is believed that Todd Richards, head coach of the Clumbus Blue Jackets, will serve as Team USA’s head coach at next year’s tournament.
While yours truly is Canadian, I cannot help but show a great deal of allegiance towards the United States – and this only intensified when members of the Kings family (present or past) have represented Team USA. Next year’s World Cup will not be an exception with, in my mind, one of the smartest minds in hockey, running the show. Besides, my American-born grandfather and American-raised mother would be disappointed if this weren’t the case.
Overall, this is a great honour for Mr. Lombardi as we congratulate him.