LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Dean Lombardi passionately embraced his appointment as general manager of the United States for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

"To be trusted with this responsibility, in this role of serving my country, is one of the highest honors of my career," Lombardi said Thursday. "I can assure you that myself and my staff will do everything in our power to make this country proud."

During his opening remarks, Lombardi, the president and GM of the Los Angeles Kings, trotted out mileposts of the growth of USA Hockey, framed by the program's twin peaks of excellence: the 1980 Olympic gold-medal winners and the 1996 World Cup championship team.

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