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Bill Zito, Chris Drury, Tom Fitzgerald picked as assistant GMs for USA Hockey's 2026 Olympic team

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's Bill Zito, the New York Rangers' Chris Drury and New Jersey's Tom Fitzgerald were announced Friday as assistant general managers for USA Hockey's teams that will compete in the NHL 4 Nations Face-Off next year and then the 2026 Olympics in Italy.

Minnesota's Chris Kelleher was also named director of player personnel for those teams. They will help Bill Guerin, who was announced in February as the general manager for those squads, and assistant executive director John Vanbiesbrouck.

“We’ve got a great management group and I’m excited to work with them in representing our country,” said Guerin, a three-time Olympian as a player and the current president of hockey operations and general manager of the Minnesota Wild. “It’s an exciting time in USA Hockey and we’re focused on bringing home championships from both events.”

Drury won Olympic silver medals as a player in 2002 and 2010, and played for the U.S. in three Olympics, three world championships, one World Cup and one world junior championships. Fitzgerald played for Team USA at the world juniors in 1987 and the world championships in 1989 and 1991. Zito has been part of the front office for two bronze-medal-winning U.S. teams, including in 2018 when he was general manager of the team at that year's world championships.

The U.S. has not won gold in men's hockey at the Olympics since the “Miracle on Ice” team did at the 1980 Lake Placid Games. The American men have medaled twice since — silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and silver at the 2010 Vancouver Games, both times losing to Canada in the gold-medal matchup.

The NHL announced in February that it would allow its players to participate in the next two Winter Olympics — at the 2026 Milan-Cortina Games and a still-to-be-determined site in 2030. The last time NHL players took part in an Olympics was at the 2014 Sochi Games.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

The Associated Press