According to CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski is expected to be named captain of Team USA at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. After being named San Jose’s captain last October, Pavelski led the Sharks to their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Sharks managed to do this despite whatever acrimony may have been caused by having two veteran stars, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, who had previously been stripped of the captaincy. The captain of the last American Olympic team, Zach Parise, is expected to play in this tournament.
Pavelski, 32, is the second oldest American player at this tournament, two months younger than Boston’s David Backes. He has scored 116 goals over the last three seasons, second only to Alex Ovechkin in that time. He also led this year’s playoffs in goal scoring with 14. Pavelski has previously represented the United States at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, as well as the 2009 IIHF World Championships.
Here are some more links from around the league.
- Being out of a contract won’t stop players from appearing at the World Cup. Kurt Overhardt, the agent for Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba confirmed today that his client will still suit up for Team North America. Mark Gandler, the agent for Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov, told the Washington Post that Orlov will still play for Russia.
- CBC’s Tim Wharnsby reports that the Penguins will sign free agent forward Thomas DiPauli from the University of Notre Dame. His agent, Peter Fish, called this report “a little premature,” adding that “nothing has been signed or agreed to yet.” DiPauli was a fourth round pick of the Capitals who, like Jimmy Vesey, went unsigned and became a free agent. DiPauli scored 14 goals, 32 points in 37 games for the Fighting Irish this year. He was, for two years, a teammate at Notre Dame of Penguins forward Bryan Rust.
- Despite reports out of Russia to the contrary, St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong says that he spoke with the agent for forward Vladimir Sobotka yesterday, and that he has been assured of Sobotka’s return to the team for this coming season. Sobotka has played the last two seasons in the KHL for Avangard Omsk, but has committed to returning to the NHL this season. Sobotka had nine goals, 33 points in 61 games for the Blues in 2014, his last season in the NHL.