USA Hockey named Minnesota Wild star forward Zach Parise captain of the U.S. Olympic ice hockey team on Friday.
“Number one, to be named to the team is awesome,” Parise told Wild.com. “But it’s a special thing to be named captain.”
For Parise, he'll wear the "C" on his sweater for the first time in his Olympic career. He was an alternate captain on the 2010 team that won the silver medal in Vancouver, Canada. Minnesotan Jamie Langenbrunner was the captain of the 2010 team.
“I know a majority of the guys wear a letter with their own team and there are going to be plenty of guys capable of doing it,” Parise said. “I’m pretty humbled to be named the captain.”
Fellow Wild Olympian, defenseman Ryan Suter, was named an alternate captain for the team.
According to Pro Hockey Talk, Parise was selected by a leadership group that included St. Louis Blues star David Backes, who is also representing Minnesota as an Olympian. Backes played high school hockey at Spring Lake Park and his college hockey at Minnesota State-Mankato.
As reported by the Star Tribune, Parise, Backes and Suter will join Rangers star Ryan Callahan and Kings forward Dustin Brown on a five-player leadership team.
The Winter Olympics begin in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 8.