After an Olympics without NHL players, the U.S. men’s hockey team brought back star power by naming the first member of its world championship team — Patrick Kane, the most accomplished player to suit up for worlds in at least a decade.
Kane, a two-time Olympian and 2010 silver medalist, was named captain for next month’s tournament in Denmark. More roster members are expected to be named later this week.
USA Hockey also named Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill as the world championship head coach, succeeding Olympic coach Tony Granato of the University of Wisconsin.
Kane and Blashill were available as their NHL teams did not make the Stanley Cup playoffs that start this week.
Kane played in one previous world championship — in 2008, following his rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks when he earned the Calder Trophy. He co-led the U.S. at that world championship with 10 points.
Several players have gone more than 10 years between world championship appearances for the U.S., including Hockey Hall of Famers Mike Modano (12 years) and Phil Housley (11 years). Kane is the most accomplished American on a world championship team since Modano’s last appearance in 2005.
Blashill, coming off his third season guiding the Red Wings, was also head coach at 2017 Worlds, where the U.S. lost to Finland in the quarterfinals.
Blashill’s assistants are 2014 Olympic head coach Dan Bylsma, Don Granato (Tony’s brother and Blackhawks assistant), and Seth Appert.
The U.S. last won worlds in 1960.
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