International Ice Hockey Federation

New era with Parise

New era with Parise

Captaincy adds to previous accomplishments

Published 12.02.2014 01:09 GMT+4 | Author John Sanful
New era with Parise
Team USA’s Zach Parise (left) battles for the puck with Switzerland’s Mathias Seger (right). Photo: Matthew Manor / HHOF-IIHF Images
Team USA named Zach Parise captain of the 2014 Men’s Olympic Hockey team, adding to what has been an impressive list of international accomplishments.

“When it comes to captaincy and leadership you are looking for someone who embodies who you are and how you want to play,” said General Manager David Poile. “I cannot think of a better player that Zach Parise to lead our team and be our captain.”

In many ways, Parise led by example at the 2010 Winter Olympics, scoring timely goals at big moments. His goal to tie the game was one of the biggest in USA Hockey history, albeit in a losing cause.

Indeed, his preparation during that tournament and how well he played on the big ice made an impression upon Team USA officials. As is his manner, Parise handled the announcement with class.

“It is a special thing to be named captain of any team, but when it is a national or Olympic team it is extra special,” he said of the announcement. “I was thrilled to get the call from coach Bylsma. I will have a lot of help and need a lot of help but looking forward to it. It is a very humbling honour.”

He’ll have Dustin Brown and Ryan Suter to count on for help as both were named assistant captains.

“There are plenty of guys who wear letters with their own teams so we won’t be lacking in leadership,” Parise noted.

The captaincy is yet another honour for Parise in representing his country. He has been an assistant captain at the 2004 U20 tournament, the 2008 World Championships and 2010 Winter Olympics.

On ice he’s been counted on to enhance medal chances and rarely has he let his country down.

Parise helped Team USA win gold at the 2002 U18 World Championships in Slovakia. As a member of the National Team Development Program initiative that has been the American’s development vehicle for talented players, Parise excelled on the big ice, scoring seven goals in eight games.

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The Americans defeated a talented Russian team 3-1 in the gold medal game. A Russian team where the top two tournament scorers had 33 combined points in eight games. Those players were Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Syomin.

Then again at the 2004 World Junior Championships, Parise led the way as Team USA won their first ever U20 gold medal defeating Canada 4-3. Not only did he tie for tournament lead in scoring but was named most valuable player.

And of course there was the silver medal garnered in Vancouver.

Parise will chart his own course as the appointed leader of his team. He’s already acknowledged how much he’d learned from Jamie Langenbrunner when both played for the New Jersey Devils and on the Olympic team.

“I was lucky enough to join some elite players who were captains for the United States,” said Parise. “I learned a lot from Jamie Langenbrunner.”

Langenbrunner was the captain of Team USA at the 2010 Winter games. Parise recalls quite particularly in Vancouver how Langenbrunner approached each game.

“Jamie carried himself in such a unique way that he as able to lead in such a way that his demeanor was the same when the team was winning and losing. That is the sign of a really good captain.”

Now it is Parise’s chance to be captain for Team USA for the first time and hopefully it will be a memorable experience.


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