Art Berglund dead at 80
by Adam Steiss|20 DEC 2020
Art Berglund (center, with Walter Bush on left and René Fasel on right) was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008. 
photo: Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images;
He was born in Canada and dedicated his life to USA Hockey, but make no mistake—Art Berglund was a vital and longtime member of the international hockey community. He passed away Saturday morning at the age of 80, but he will long be remembered for his contributions to the game around the world.
Berglund was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2008 during the centennial celebrations in Quebec City. He was honoured alongside Cammi Granato, Angela James, and Geraldine Heaney, the first two women inducted, and Mario Lemieux, Igor Larionov, and Philippe Bozon.
“Art’s passing is mourned not only by USA Hockey, but the entire hockey world,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “His influence on both American hockey and the international game was profound and his charisma and passion will never be forgotten. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his entire family, but especially his step-daughters Jossie and Cathy and his niece Linda.”
“Today we lost a great friend and monumental force within the hockey community,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “Art was truly a remarkable individual, and we will forever cherish his contributions to our sport.”
A player in his youth, Berglund played college hockey at Colorado, after which he moved to Europe and turned pro. He played for teams in Switzerland and Austria, but when Thayer Tutt, the American president of the IIHF at the time, offered Berglund a job as manager of the Broadmoor Arena in Colorado Springs, he took it. Broadmoor has an important place in hockey history as the venue of the only World Championship ever held in the United States, in 1962.
During his 13 years at Broadmoor, Berglund was manager of the U.S. National Team for the 1973, 1974, and 1975 World Championship, a pivotal time in the nation’s hockey history. He hired Lou Vairo and then Bob Johnson as coaches, and the team extricated itself from B Pool to A Pool, where it has been ever since (with one exception a decade later, when he again took the team out of B into A).
In 1976, Berglund was named manager of the country’s Olympic team, after which he moved to the world of junior hockey, overseeing USA Hockey’s U20 team eight times between 1977 and 1992. It was on his watch in 1986 that the team won its first World Junior medal ever, a bronze, a feat it replicated in 1992.
Berglund was also manager for the American entries at the 1981 and 1991 Canada Cup tournaments and was closely involved in the Olympic team selection process from 1984 to 2002.
Concurrently, Berglund moved into the world of the NHL, first as a scout for the St. Louis Blues and then as director of player recruitment for the Colorado Rockies. But when Berglund moved to USA Hockey in 1984 as director of national teams, he merely confirmed what he knew all along: this was where his heart was, his true calling.
Although he retired in 2005, he remained very active with USA Hockey for another decade as a consultant. In addition to his IIHF Hall of Fame honour, he was given the Lester Patrick Award in 1992 for his contributions to hockey in the U.S. and was inducted into the U.S. Hall of Fame in 2010.
He will be remembered by those who worked for him at USA Hockey’s home base in Colorado Springs, at the IIHF offices, and everywhere else the game is played.