Wild's Parise sets bar high for Team USA: 'We're going to Russia to win'

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 27, 2013 - 12:24 PM

The forward and Wild teammate Ryan Suter are part of the leadership group for the Olympic hockey team.

The Wild's Zach Parise spoke to media members during the U.S. Olympic team's orientation camp on Monday in Arlington, Va.

 

– In 2010, Brian Burke, then general manager of the United States men’s Olympic hockey team, gave his players a great cover.

With the Americans turning the page on the red, white and blue careers of veterans Chris Chelios, Mike Modano, Bill Guerin, Keith Tkachuk and others, Burke called the U.S. a team in transition and thus lowered the expectations in Vancouver.

“I don’t think we’re going to sneak up on anybody this time,” said Burke, the director of player personnel for the 2014 U.S. Olympic men’s team that will compete in Sochi, Russia. “People view the U.S. as a legitimate contender. We’re not going to be able to come in on an invisible cloak.”

Three and half years ago, despite those allegedly small expectations, the Americans won a silver medal after losing to Canada in overtime of the gold-medal game.

“It still hurts,” said Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, whose father, Bob, played on the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” gold medal-winning team. “You come so close, you work so hard, and just like anybody who doesn’t win their last game, you’re disappointed. I don’t think it’ll ever wear off.”

That’s why the Wild’s Zach Parise, who scored that last-minute tying goal to send the U.S. to overtime in the 2010 final, said, “In our eyes, we’re going to Russia to win.”

Parise and Suter are two of 48 Americans who are attending the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey orientation camp. For 2½ days, the Olympic hopefuls — 14 from Minnesota — are going through a system work crash course, off-ice training and officially registering for the Olympics and anti-doping program.

Twenty-five players will make the team, which should be announced in early January.

Parise and Suter are shoo-ins. In fact, GM David Poile (Nashville) and coach Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh) have included Parise and Suter in a leadership group with three NHL captains — St. Louis’ David Backes, Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown and the Rangers’ Ryan Callahan.

The players will be used as a sounding board and all five have a shot at U.S. captain, Bylsma said.

“It’s weird how we’re the older guys here now, because it feels just like a few years ago we were the young guys trying to make a name for ourselves,” Suter said.

Added Parise, “Anytime you’re a captain of any team, it’s always an honor and special thing. But to be captain of the Olympic team would be a whole new level.”

Parise, 29, and Suter, 28, were two integral pieces of the 2010 team. They’ve continued to develop so well, two summers ago they were the two biggest free agents in the NHL and signed identical 13-year, $98 million contracts with the Wild. Parise led the Wild in scoring in his first season and Suter was a first-team All-Star and Norris Trophy runner-up.

“Parise’s tenacity is what makes him so special,” Burke said. “And Suter, I don’t know if his pulse goes above 60 during a game. Players around him sense that calmness. He doesn’t get rattled ever.”

Management met for five hours Sunday. The staff includes Penguins GM and associate U.S. GM Ray Shero, Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman, Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi and Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon.

Whenever any of the GM’s attend an NHL game next season, they will grade each American player and upload that to a database. Burke and Penguins scout Don Waddell, the former Atlanta Thrashers GM, will act as “bird dogs.”

One Wild player not invited to camp was former Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville. He was born is Canada but has dual citizenship because his mother is American and he played for the U.S. in the 2008 world championships.

Poile said several American forwards on the potential depth chart have their “foot in the door.” But Poile admitted Monday that Pominville “probably should have” been invited to camp. Poile said Pominville’s name has been “put back on the board” and he will be scouted all season.

“If he plays well enough, he’s back in the mix,” Poile said.

Though there are 16 returning Olympians at camp, nobody has been promised a spot.

Poile said every player’s body of work “got them here,” but the most important factor as to which 25 players make the roster will be “what you do in October, November and December.”

“We have some very hard decisions,” Poile said. “We’re not going into Sochi as an underdog. We know every decision we make can determine whether or not we win gold.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 12 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 4
Washington - LP: D. Fister 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 8
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1
Boston - LP: T. Layne 2 FINAL
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 5
NY Yankees - WP: S. Greene 8 FINAL
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: Z. Wheeler 2
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: M. Latos 7
Cleveland 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Chicago WSox 3
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 6
Oakland 2 Bottom 7th Inning
Houston 2
Milwaukee 0 Top 6th Inning
San Diego 0
Los Angeles 3 Bottom 4th Inning
Arizona 0
Miami 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
LA Angels 0
Colorado 0 Top 3rd Inning
San Francisco 0
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 0 1st Half 33:00
Los Angeles 1
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close