Strauss Mann, top U.S. men’s goalie at Olympics, signs NHL deal

Strauss Mann

Strauss Mann, the primary U.S. men’s hockey team goalie at the Beijing Olympics, signed a one-year contract with the San Jose Sharks.

Mann, 23, started the two biggest games of the Olympics for the U.S., a 4-2 win over Canada in group play and a 3-2 shootout loss to Slovakia in the quarterfinals.

None of the three U.S. goalies on the Olympic team has played an NHL game — Mann, 19-year-old Drew Commesso of Boston University and 34-year-old minor-league journeyman Pat Nagle.

Mann is best known for his time at the University of Michigan, where he was the first goalie named captain of the team in 78 years.

No active NHL players were allowed on Olympic teams for a second consecutive Winter Games, but U.S. skaters have since played in the league, including Seattle Kraken forward Matty Beniers.

Jonathan Quick is the only other active American NHL goalie with Olympic experience.

The last U.S. goalies from a non-NHL Olympics to go on to play in the league were Mike Dunham and Garth Snow from the 1994 Lillehammer Games.

Ray LeBlanc, the starting goalie in 1992, played one NHL game for the Chicago Blackhawks after the Albertville Olympics.

The most famous U.S. Olympic goalie, Jim Craig from the 1980 Lake Placid Games and the Miracle on Ice, played 30 NHL games.

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