Winter Olympics 2014: Team USA names Zach Parise men's hockey captain

Bruce Bennett

Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild has been named the captain of Team USA's men's hockey team for the upcoming Winter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia.

After speculation that it would be Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter that would be named captain of the American men's hockey team, it is Suter's teammate Zach Parise who was announced as the captain on Friday.

Parise played an important role for Team USA in the Vancouver Olympic games, scoring 4 goals and 4 assists in 6 games, including the tying marker against Team Canada in the gold medal game that sent the match to overtime.

Struggling with injuries this season, Parise has notched 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points in 41 games played, and been a possession monster for the Wild. The speedy left wing should once again slot in on the top line for the USA, where he will be counted on to lead by example.

Parise has the full support of Suter, who will be an alternate captain, and who spoke about the preparation the two have discussed going into the Olympics in an interview with SB Nation:

"[Parise and I] talk about the Olympics; we talk about the challenges. We're both really excited, and really looking forward to it."

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown will also be an alternate captain for Team USA. Brown was held pointless in 6 games in Vancouver, but scoring won't be his role in this type of tournament.

Evan Sporer of SB Nation contributed to this report.

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