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Mike Hastings and Brett Larson Named US Olympic Assistant Coaches

2021 NCAA Division I Mens Ice Hockey Championship - Northeast Regional Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

While fans around the country anxiously await official roster announcements for the upcoming Olympic Games to see which players might miss a significant portion of the second half of the season, it was announced today that two head coaches will be taking a leave of absence to work as assistant coaches for the US men’s national team.

USA Hockey and men’s head coach David Quinn announced that Minnesota State head coach Mike Hastings and St. Cloud State head coach Brett Larson will be on the staff that heads to Beijing.

Hastings and Larson will likely miss most of the month of February for their respective schools while handling duties with Team USA, but both should be back for their teams’ respective playoff runs.

Hastings is a long-time close friend of Quinn, dating back to years spent working in Omaha together, and has USA Hockey head coaching experience after coaching the US World Juniors team in 2019. Both Hastings and Larson also have experience as assistant coaches at the World Juniors.

After collegians Troy Terry and Ryan Donato were among the best performers for the United States in the last Olympics, when NHL players were unable to participate, it’s not surprise to see the US potentially leaning into a more college-heavy approach to this tournament.

Nothing is official yet, but some names are starting to leak out that may potentially be invited. Here is the most thorough, and probably most trustworthy list at this point:

On the Canadian side, Michigan’s Owen Power and Kent Johnson, along with star Northeastern goalie Devon Levi are among some of the names rumored to be in the running for the Canadian side.