Jim Johannson, the general manager of USA Hockey who helped put together an American Olympic team without NHL players, has died at the age of 53.

USA Hockey put out a statement Sunday saying that Johannson died in his sleep in the early morning at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“We are beyond shocked and profoundly saddened,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey, in the statement. “As accomplished as Jim was in hockey, he was the absolute best, most humble, kind and caring person you could ever hope to meet. His impact on our sport and more importantly the people and players in our sport have been immeasurable. Our condolences go out to his entire family, but especially to his loving wife Abby and their young daughter Ellie.”

Johannson played college hockey at Wisconsin (1982-86), helping the Badgers win an NCAA title his freshman year. He played for the United States in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Johannson’s teammate on the 1988 team, Tony Granato, is a the coach of this year’s U.S. Olympic team.

Johannson was drafted by the Whalers in 1982 but didn’t make it to the NHL, playing the International Hockey League from 1987-94.

He has been with USA Hockey since 2000 in various roles. During his tenure, the U.S. has won 34 gold medals, 19 silver and 11 bronze. But this season was a different challenge since NHL players would not be taking part in the Games for the first time since 1994. The Games in South Korea begin Feb. 9.