Olympics: Ex-Salt Lake player remembers pre-NHL era

Published February 13, 2014 2:15 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jim Johannson, a former Salt Lake Golden Eagles star, remembers the era when the National Hockey League was not involved in the Olympics.

"Thank God, or I would not have been a two-time Olympian," Johannson joked during the Team USA Media Summit in Park City in October, in advance of the 2014 Games.

The NHL now interrupts its season and sends players to the Olympics. Johannson played for the USA in 1988 and 1992 during his minor-league career. He joined the Golden Eagles right after the '88 Games in Calgary and stayed through the following season, when he scored 35 goals in 82 games in the International Hockey League.

Johannson is the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. The U.S. men's team beat Slovokia 7-1 in its first preliminary game.

- Kurt Kragthorpe