PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (WOOD) – The U.S. men’s hockey team has until Feb. 14 to get ready for its Olympic opener and when they take the ice, Brian Gionta will wear the captain’s “C.”
Gionta, who served as team captain for the Buffalo Sabres last season in the NHL, said being named captain for Team USA was an honor that sent chills down his back.
“It was a special day to be able to share with my wife and kids,” he said. “To come out here and represent your country is a dream come true.”
Jim Slater, a forward for Team USA, said Gionta’s professionalism makes him a clear leader.
“There [aren’t] many guys who play a thousand games, win a Stanley Cup, are captain of a couple teams,” Slater said. “He’s the clear-cut choice, he’s our captain – he leads us.”
Gionta and Team USA will open tournament play against Slovenia on Wednesday.