Patrick Kane typically doesn’t hold a letter with the Chicago Blackhawks, but he will with Team USA
For the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, Team Canada chose Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby as team captain some time ago. Today, Team USA came out with its captain and alternates.
Coming off a Stanley Cup Final appearance, San Jose’s Joe Pavelski will captain the Americans. Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will serve as alternate captains.
More from NHL News
- Blackhawks Add Gaudette From Vancouver For Highmore
- Sabres fire Krueger, name former Blackhawks coach interim head coach
- NHL missed chance to create controversy with the entry draft
- What else might be being negotiated by the NHL and NHLPA?
- NHLPA expected to accept 24-team playoff proposal, including Blackhawks
Kane getting a letter is a big step for him in professional hockey. Kane typically goes without a letter for the Chicago Blackhawks, who have the likes of Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and even Marian Hossa to wear the “C” and “As.”
Team USA coach John Tortorella said he thinks Kane is ready to take on more responsibility on this sort of stage. It probably didn’t hurt that Kane posted a league-best point total in a career year last season, either.
The captain and alternate captains for Team USA make a solid group. Why the likes of Backes and Kesler are part of a “leadership team,” however, is anyone’s guess. You can’t win them all, right?
But what about the line combinations?
World Cup of Hockey action hasn’t been limited to making captaincy decisions, though. Line combinations came flying out during team practices yesterday, and several Chicago Blackhawks hold prime positions.
In these pairings, Kane was playing on the right wing of Max Pacioretty and Pavelski. That line could do a lot of damage, as Pacioretty and Kane are two of the most potent wings in the league. Kane’s playmaking abilities could produce a lot of scoring chances for his linemates.
Over on Team Canada, Toews is part of the top six.
With Crosby being the captain, it only makes sense he’d be on the top line. And putting him between familiar linemates in Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, who had a ton of success together last season, makes sense.
Toews will get to center a scoring machine in Tyler Seguin and a bowling ball of a forward in Logan Couture. This line is just going to crash opposing goalies mercilessly. It also has some really talented puck handlers in Toews and Seguin.
On Team Russia, two more Blackhawks are involved in a single line.
Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin are paired together on Russia’s third line with Tampa Bay’s Vladislav Namestnikov. Anisimov and Panarin spent pretty much the entire 2015-16 season together with the Blackhawks, and Namestnikov is a budding up-and-comer. This line has a lot of potential with Anisimov feeding the youngsters.
World Cup of Hockey action is officially in full swing ahead of the Sept. 17 opener. We’re finally getting close to some real hockey being played again.