Minnesota Wild star Zach Parise was named captain of Team USA mere minutes ago in an announcement by American general manager David Poile. Poile’s choice is no big surprise. Parise was a favourite to be chosen as the man who wears the “C” for Team USA in Sochi.
In less than two weeks the NHL’s finest will cross the pond and compete at the Winter Olympics for the fifth straight Games.
Poile didn’t solely praise Parise. The Nashville Predators’ GM was clear in revealing his team’s entire leadership core: David Backes, Ryan Callahan, Dustin Brown, and Ryan Suter round out a group of five that will be relied on throughout the intense moments that lie ahead at the quadrennial Winters. Brown and Suter will officially dawn the Assistant’s “A”.
#CapitalsTalk Team USA captains: Zach Parise (C), Ryan Suter (A), Dustin Brown (A).
— Chuck Gormley (@ChuckGormleyCSN) January 31, 2014
Parise has played captain before with the New Jersey Devils. As on-ice leader he led his former club all the way to the Stanley Cup finals in 2006, where he lost to fellow American – captain of the Los Angeles Kings, Dustin Brown.
The Americans pack a lot of punch up front in the form of Callahan, Backes, Kesler, Brown, and more. They’ll be a tough team to beat in Sochi, just like they were at Vancouver 2010, where they lost a nail biter in overtime to Team Canada in the gold medal game. Zach Parise scored the tying goal with less than a minute left to force OT against the Canadians. Captains have a knack for scoring big goals, although Parise didn’t wear the “C” in Vancouver, he was as much of an on-ice leader as the team had.
Parise leads Team USA into the Winter Olympics with eyes on a golden prize. The Americans have played in two out of four possible gold medal matches since NHLers began participating at the Games back in 1998 – they lost both to Team Canada. This time, the Americans hope to seal the deal and finally wear gold around their necks with an NHL cast.