Team USA general manager Don Waddell announced on Wednesday that Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios will be the captain of the United States’ entry in the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament later this month, an honor given to Chelios for the third consecutive Olympiad.
The 44-year-old Chelios will become the United States’ oldest-ever Olympian. Along with St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk, he is one of the only two four-time Olympians in the hockey team’s history.
“I’ve been there before,” Chelios during a conference call. “(The veterans) have been there before. It’s our job to get (the young players) ready and prepare them for … a short tournament.
“The quicker you can put it together, the better it is for us. We’re going to have to make the young guys understand that.”
Chelios said that he would apply skills learned throughout his career from other great leaders that he skated with, including current Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman, toward leading the Americans.
“But now after having had guys teach me, guys like Bob Gainey, Dirk Graham, Steve Yzerman, over the years, I understand what it’s all about, being the captain. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the best player, but in the room, on the ice, providing leadership.”
The defenseman also captained the team in 1998 and 2002 and was a member of the 1984 squad.