Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

Also find Russo on Facebook.

Email Michael to talk about hockey.

Parise will captain U.S. Olympic team; Suter is alternate captain

Posted by: Michael Russo under Olympic hockey Updated: January 31, 2014 - 1:31 PM

With the Wild lounging around Newport Beach, Calif., earlier this week, Zach Parise had to step out when his cell phone buzzed with Dan Bylsma’s name coming up on the caller I.D.

Parise, the Wild star competing in his second Winter Olympics with the United States later this month, figured it was just a routine update being provided to the five-player leadership group, which includes himself, Wild teammate Ryan Suter, Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown, St. Louis Blues captain David Backes and New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan.

It wasn’t.

Parise was informed by the U.S. coach that he will captain the red, white and blue in Sochi.

“We’ve got a lot of players that are great leaders,” Parise, 29, said. “I’m going to get a lot of help and I’m going to need a lot of help. It is a special thing, though. It’s very humbling.”

While Parise was named “Captain America,” Suter and Brown were named alternate captains.

Suter was a no-brainer. No player on the U.S. team has worn an American sweater in international competition more than him (64 games). Along with Parise, Suter was an alternate captain during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and previously captained the U.S. at the 2005 world junior championship.

Parise, the former captain of the New Jersey Devils, tied for the team lead in both goals (four) and points (eight) for the silver medalists in Vancouver. He forced overtime in the gold-medal game by scoring with 24.4 seconds left in regulation.

He previously was alternate captain on the gold-medal winning 2004 world junior championship team.

Bylsma coaches the Pittsburgh Penguins, so his team faced off against Parise often when he played for the Devils. Bylsma said Parise embodies the blue-collar attitude he wants from his team in Sochi.

“Every time we played against Zach Parise, there has been a work ethic, a never quit, a determination, an abrasiveness about a hard-to-play-against type of player -- and it’s every time,” he said. “Regardless of the score, regardless of the situation our respective teams might be in, that’s what you see and that’s what you get every time I’ve coached against Zach Parise."

Parise has played four games since returning from a broken foot that kept him out of the Wild’s lineup Dec. 23-Jan. 21. In two games since finding out he was named the U.S. captain, Parise has scored three goals and seven points.

In 591 NHL games over nine years, Parise has 230 goals and 482 points. He has played in the playoffs seven times, helping the Wild snap a four-year playoff drought last season. He captained the Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Kings.

His mentor in New Jersey was recently-retired Jamie Langenbrunner, who captain the U.S. in 2010.

“I sat next to him in the locker room while he was our captain [in New Jersey], and while he was our captain in Vancouver,” Parise said. “Not an overly vocal guy in the locker room, but you know he’s going to play hard the right way in every game, and he leads by example. 

“As I get older in the league, you kind of remember those kinds of things. What was unique about Jamie was that he was able to lead the same way when the team was winning and the team was losing, which is a hard thing.

Wild captain Mikko Koivu is expected to captain Finland during the Olympics. Koivu has missed the past 12 games with a broken ankle.

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 47 3rd Qtr
Houston 50
Golden State 5:00 PM
Boston
Philadelphia 5:00 PM
Indiana
Portland 5:00 PM
Sacramento
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Orlando
Oklahoma City 5:30 PM
LA Lakers
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Denver
Los Angeles 0 2nd Prd
Winnipeg 1
Tampa Bay 4:00 PM
Florida
Columbus 4:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Dallas
St. Louis 8:30 PM
Vancouver
SMU 73 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 51 2nd Half 5:13
California 62
South Florida 45 2nd Half 5:55
Houston 64
Marquette 30 2nd Half 15:05
Providence 50
Michigan State 20 1st Half 3:44
Wisconsin 26
Siena 2 1st Half 17:20
Monmouth 2
Pittsburgh 5:30 PM
Wake Forest
Oregon 6:00 PM
Stanford
Purdue 6:30 PM
Ohio State
Arizona State 7:30 PM
Colorado
Washington St 8:30 PM
UCLA
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
UMBC 73
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 2nd Half 0:24
Drexel 46
Illinois State 44 2nd Half 4:40
Bradley 46
Southern Ill 58 2nd Half 5:30
Loyola-Chicago 52
Northern Iowa 45 2nd Half 4:50
Wichita State 59
Minnesota 67 2nd Half 2:45
(17) Iowa 81
(15) North Carolina 48 2nd Half 8:58
(16) Duke 66
Alabama 48 2nd Half 7:20
Auburn 61
(9) Florida State 54 2nd Half 7:33
Miami-Florida 42
Arkansas 38 2nd Half 2:40
Missouri 57
Georgia 44 2nd Half 4:53
Florida 43
Dayton 78 2nd Half 4:30
Saint Louis 60
Drake 44 2nd Half 4:16
Missouri State 80
Colorado 16 1st Half 2:41
(10) Arizona State 19
(19) Stanford 25 1st Half 3:31
Oregon 25
Marquette 29 1st Half 3:51
DePaul 37
Southern Miss 24 1st Half 4:36
Texas-El Paso 29
Vanderbilt 4:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
(2) South Carolina 4:00 PM
(13) Kentucky
Utah 4:00 PM
Arizona
Ohio State 4:00 PM
Nebraska

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT