Florida Panthers assistant general manager Brett Peterson was named the first Black general manager of the 2024 United States men's national team Thursday.

The United States will compete in 2024 IIHF World Championship in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic, on May 10-26.

"It's a great honor, and I'm excited to get a group of fantastic individuals together and see what we can do," Peterson said. "I'm very happy that our game and our sport continues to evolve and grow where there can be 'firsts' and 'seconds' and 'thirds.' I think it just speaks to what USA Hockey has done creating opportunities for so many different people to play the game, myself included, and then to continue to fall in love with it and continue to want to chase our dreams to the highest level."

USA Hockey assistant executive director of hockey operations John Vanbiesbrouck said Peterson "has done a terrific job in helping build the Florida Panthers" since he became assistant GM on Nov. 17, 2020. The Panthers have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs three times during Peterson's tenure and reached the 2023 Stanley Cup Final, a five-game loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

"We are really excited to have Brett as the general manager of our men's national team," Vanbiesbrouck said, "… His extensive knowledge of the overall player pool in our country will be really beneficial in putting together our team for the World Championship."

The United States Men's National Team Advisory Group, led by Vanbiesbrouck and includes NHL general managers Kevyn Adams (Buffalo Sabres), Craig Conroy (Calgary Flames), Chris Drury (New York Rangers), Tom Fitzgerald (New Jersey Devils), Mike Grier (San Jose Sharks), Bill Guerin (Minnesota Wild), Lou Lamoriello (New York Islanders), Chris MacFarland (Colorado Avalanche), Don Waddell (Carolina Hurricanes) and Bill Zito (Panthers), will assist Peterson in constructing the roster for the 2024 team.

"For me, this is just another opportunity to learn from a very established group of gentlemen," Peterson said. "Some of them I know well, some of them I know kind of well, and get to know what their thought processes are on things and, hopefully, continue to use that in my own growth and development as I continue to improve as an assistant GM."


The United States will compete in Group B at Worlds with France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Poland, Sweden and Slovakia and play their preliminary round games at Ostrava Arena.

Group A features Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Czechia, Denmark, Norway, Austria and Great Britain. They will play preliminary-round games at Prague Arena, which also will host the semifinals and medal games.

The United States finished fourth at the 2023 Worlds in Tampere, Finland, and Riga, Latvia, losing 4-3 in overtime to Latvia in the bronze-medal game. It has won four medals, all  bronze, in the past 10 tournaments (2013, 2015, 2018, 2021).

Peterson said he wants the 2024 team to be "a fun group of interesting personalities that want to play the game the right way, that want to be competitive, want to play fast and really push the envelope and represent our country on the stage where I feel like we can show the world just how much we've improved our hockey over the years."

Peterson joined the Panthers front office after being a player agent and vice president for hockey at Wasserman. He began his sports representation career in 2009 at Acme World Sports, which was co-founded by Zito and acquired by Wasserman in 2020, after playing four seasons as a defenseman at Boston College (2000-04). He helped the Eagles win the 2001 NCAA Division I national championship.

The 42-year-old native of Northborough, Massachusetts, played 340 minor-league games; 317 for Atlantic City, Johnstown, Florida and Phoenix of the ECHL; 21 for Albany and Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League; and two for Flint of the International Hockey League before retiring after the 2008-09 season. He was part of a group that helped assemble an all-Black and Hispanic team from the NextGen AAA Foundation that won its division in the 2020 Beantown Summer Classic, a prestigious tournament.

The team was coached by Grier, who became the first Black general manager in the NHL when the Sharks hired him July 5, 2022, and Bryce Salvador, now a Devils television analyst.