USA Hockey announced today that four Tampa Bay Lightning staff members will be among its support staff for the 2012 IIHF World Championships, which will be held in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden from May 4-20. Lightning head athletic trainer Tom Mulligan, head equipment manager Ray Thill, assistant equipment manager Rob Kennedy and massage therapist Christian Rivas will all be joining Team USA.
Mulligan, a native of New Bedford, Massachusetts, recently finished his 11th season with the Lightning. It will be his second appearance with Team USA at the World Championships, after previously serving in the same role in 2008 in Canada.
Thill, having previously served Team USA at both the 2008 (Canada) and 2009 (Switzerland) World Championships, will be making his third appearance. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Thill has spent 13 seasons with Tampa Bay. He was also selected to participate in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa, Ontario this past season.
Kennedy will be making his first appearance with Team USA after recently completing his fifth season with the Lightning. The Chicago native was also selected to participate in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.
Rivas, a New York, New York native, has spent the previous two seasons with the Lightning. He also will be making his first international hockey appearance for Team USA.
The group joins Guy Boucher and Teddy Purcell
(Canada), as well as Nate Thompson
and JT Brown (USA) as Lightning personnel committed to participate in the tournament. Defenseman Victor Hedman
(Sweden) is also expected to participate.
Team USA opens up the tournament in Helsinki against France on May 4.