COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – John Vanbiesbrouck (Detroit, Mich.), a Hall of Fame goaltender who has spent the last five years as general manager and director of hockey operations for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks, has been named assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey it was announced today.
“We are beyond thrilled to have John join our staff,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “Through his exceptional playing career, what he has done since retiring and his history with USA Hockey, John is well positioned to lead a very important part of our organization and I know he is excited to get started.”
Vanbiesbrouck’s responsibilities will include oversight of all of USA Hockey’s international efforts, including its men’s, women’s and sled programs as well as the National Junior Development Program.
“It is really exciting to get someone with John’s background,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “He brings a unique perspective, including being a key volunteer for our organization for the last year eight years.”
Vanbiesbrouck, who will also play a significant role in maintaining and enhancing USA Hockey’s relationships with key constituent groups, including the U.S. Olympic Committee and NHL, began his volunteer work in 2008 as an athlete director on USA Hockey’s board of directors and was elected vice president and chair of the Junior Council in 2012.
“John brings knowledge, passion and commitment and will be a terrific leader in helping us continue to advance as a hockey nation,” said Gavin Regan, vice president of USA Hockey and chair of the organization’s International Council. “His credentials speak for themselves and we’re excited to welcome him to this new role.”
During Vanbiesbrouck’s tenure as GM in Muskegon, the Lumberjacks recorded a regular-season record of 162-115-6; won the Eastern Conference title in 2015; and made three trips to the Clark Cup Playoffs, including an appearance in the Clark Cup Final (2015).
“I’m really humbled and honored to have this opportunity,” said Vanbiesbrouck. “I look forward to building on the foundation that has been put in place by Art Berglund and Jim Johannson, among others, and while I know I have much to learn, it’s a challenge that I’m really excited about.”
Vanbiesbrouck had a remarkable NHL playing career that spanned parts of 20 seasons and included stops with the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils. The five-time NHL All-Star won 374 games, the most by any American netminder in NHL history. He earned the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL in 1986 as a member of the New York Rangers and 10 years later helped the Florida Panthers advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007 and Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2015, Vanbiesbrouck has represented the United States on the international stage as a player on nine occasions, including the Olympic Winter Games in 1998; two Canada Cups (1987, 1991), four men’s world championships (1985, 1987, 1989, 1991) and two world junior championships (1982, 1983).
Vanbiesbrouck and his wife Rosalinde have four sons, Ian, Ben, Nick and Daniel.
He will officially begin his duties on June 4th and be based at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich.