MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin on Thursday was named the head man for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team when it heads to the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.
Guerin was also named the GM for Team USA for the 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off. Guerin is in his fifth season as the front office head for the Wild, and the 53-year-old came to Minnesota after five seasons as the assistant GM for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He helped build that team to Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017.
The in-season 4 Nations Face-Off is a tournament with the United States, Canada, Finland and Sweden competing from Feb. 12-20, featuring NHL players. They will play seven games during a nine-day period in cities in North America, one in the U.S., and one in Canada that has not yet been named.
The 2026 Olympics in Italy will mark Guerin’s second time as GM for Team USA. He took the job in 2021, a team that took fifth in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. Guerin played in three Olympics, winning a silver medal in Salt Lake City in 2002. Team USA has not won gold since the "Miracle on Ice" in 1980.
"It’s always been an honor for me to represent my country, playing for USA Hockey over the years. In 1980 I was 9 years old and that had a huge impact on how I saw the game of hockey, the path I wanted to go down and how deep I bled the red, white and blue colors. We don’t just go to these tournaments to participate, we go into win," Guerin told reporters via Zoom on Thursday. "We’ve got one of the deepest player pools in the world, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime."
NHL players are coming back to the Olympics for the first time in a decade, having not participated since the Sochi Games in 2014.
It’s a busy time for Minnesota as the State of Hockey. Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul is hosting the USA/Canada rivalry series for the U.S. Women's National Team, on Feb. 11, in the final game of a seven-game series. Minnesota will also be the host for the 2026 World Junior Championships.
Guerin has helped lead the Wild to the Western Conference Playoffs in each of the past four seasons.
He'll be tasked with putting together a roster with the best talent from the U.S., including NHL players, after what comes from the 4 Nations Face-Off and the World Junior Championships. Guerin is looking to end a more than three-decade drought and leave Italy with a gold medal.
"Our player pool is so deep. We’ve developed such high-end talent and there’s such high-end talent out there that we’ve never seen before. I just don’t see why we shouldn’t be thinking gold medals, and I think USA Hockey has developed into a program where that’s what we do," Guerin said.