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Parise to Captain 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team

01/31/2014, 11:30am MST
By USAHockey.com

Captains Announcement Audio

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Zach Parise (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Wild/University of North Dakota), who served as an alternate captain for the silver medal-winning 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, has been named captain of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team it was announced today by USA Hockey. Parise is in his second season as an alternate captain with the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild.

The XXII Olympic Winter Games will be held Feb. 7-23 in Sochi, Russia. The United States plays Slovakia in its first game Feb. 13.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Parise tied for the team lead in both goals (four) and points (eight) and was named to the media all-star team.

Parise, who served as both captain and alternate captain over the course of his tenure playing for the New Jersey Devils, was an alternate captain on the gold medal-winning 2004 U.S. National Junior Team, as well as the 2008 U.S. Men's National Team. He also competed at two other International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championships (2005, 2007), the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship and was a member of the gold medal-winning 2002 US. Men's National Under-18 Team at the IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship.

Parise has collected 482 points (230-252) in 591 games played during a nine-year NHL career that includes stints with the Minnesota Wild (2012-present) and New Jersey Devils (2005-12). He has played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs seven times and helped guide the Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.

BROWN, SUTER TO SERVE AS ALTERNATE CAPTAINS

Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y./Los Angeles Kings) and Ryan Suter (Madison, Wis./Minnesota Wild/University of Wisconsin) have been tabbed as alternate captains for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team.

Brown, who is in his sixth season as captain of the Los Angeles Kings, served as an alternate captain of the 2010 Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. He also captained the 2009 U.S. Men's National Team at the IIHF Men's World Championship. Brown, who is making his eighth appearance with Team USA in international competition, played for the United States in three other IIHF Men's World Championships (2004-bronze, 2006, 2008) and two IIHF World Junior Championships (2002, 2003).

Suter, who was an alternate captain on his first U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team in 2010, is currently in his second season as alternate captain with the Minnesota Wild. He previously served as captain of the 2005 U.S. National Junior Team that played in the IIHF World Junior Championship. Suter has been a member of Team USA at four IIHF Men's World Championships (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009), three IIHF World Junior Championships (2003, 2004-gold, 2005) and two IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championships (2002-gold, 2003).

NOTES: The 25-man roster for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team was announced on NBC as part of its coverage of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. ... Dan Bylsma, head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is the head coach of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. Tony Granato, assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Todd Richards, head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Peter Laviolette, serve as assistant coaches ... USA Hockey's International Council, chaired by Gavin Regan, vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. National Teams.

U.S. Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team All-Time Captains

Jamie Langenbrunner (2010)

Chris Chelios (1998, 2002, 2006)

Peter Laviolette (1994)

Clark Donatelli (1992)

Brian Leetch (1988)

Phil Verchota (1984)

Mike Eruzione (1980)

John Taft (1976)

Tim Sheehy (1972)

Lou Nanne (1968)

Herb Brooks/ Bill Reichert (1964)

Jack Kirrane (1960)

Gene Campbell (1956)

Al Van (1952)

Goodwin Harding (1948)

Jack Garrison (1936)

John Chase (1932)

Irving Small (1924)

Joe McCormick (1920)

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Life of an NHL Official: Part II

02/25/2015, 11:00pm MST
By USA Hockey Officiating Program

A follow-up to Ian Walsh's NHL career-path article (see Stripes - February 2015)

For the last 15 years, Ian Walsh has crisscrossed the United States as an NHL official. In this Part 2 of our conversation with Walsh, the 42-year-old Philadelphia native fielded a series of questions discussing life on the road, his conditioning schedule, mentors, on-ice struggles, the evolution of the game and advice for aspiring officials. 

USA Hockey: How do you think you've been able to maintain all of the officiating success you've had over the last 15 years?

Ian Walsh: I believe one of my strengths as an official is my work ethic. I come to the rink every night ready to work hard and give 100 percent. I also believe I am very coachable, and when I'm offered a suggestion for improvement, I try very hard to implement that advice into my game.  

USAH: What is your conditioning schedule like during the NHL season? How about during the off-season? 

Walsh: During the season, conditioning work is more about maintaining what you built up over the summer. The workouts aren't as intense but you must continue to take good care of your body. Game-day workouts usually include a 30-minute bike ride or a couple miles run at the hotel gym. I also like to do some core work and light strength training on top of that. 

The weather in Portland is amazing in the summer, and I prefer to be outside and on my road bike. I usually get in about four days a week of riding outdoors to help build my endurance and strength. I try to play hockey a few days a week as well to help work on my skating.

USAH: When did you realize you finally had cemented your career as an official? What was that feeling like?

Walsh: I don't know if you ever get that feeling. Every night is a different challenge in our league. It is a hard, hard league to officiate. The scrutiny of every call, every goal, ever non-call is such a challenge for all of us. The best players and coaches in the world expect us to perform at such a high level every night, and we have to be ready for anything that comes our way. It’s a privilege to be on the ice in the NHL, and I think that is something no official takes for granted.

USAH: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date as an official? 

Walsh: Being chosen to participate in four Stanley Cup playoffs is what I'm most proud of. It’s an incredible honor to be selected and that’s the goal for every official each year. Also, being part of the team that was chosen to represent the NHL at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was a phenomenal experience and a great opportunity.

USAH: What has been the biggest hurdle/obstacle you've had to overcome in your officiating career? 

Walsh: I’ve been lucky so far, knock on wood, that I haven’t had any serious injuries. Other than some bumps and bruises, I’ve been relatively injury-free in my career. The biggest challenge is to be able to bounce back from calls you made that aren't correct. In this day and age, we usually know within minutes after the game if we made a wrong decision. When you make a call that impacts the game, it’s hard on the mind. Unfortunately, we make mistakes and what most people don't understand is that nobody takes it harder than the official making that mistake. Being able to bounce back from a mistake is something all officials must learn to do.

USAH: Who has had the most impact on your officiating career over the past 15 years? What has that person or those people taught you?  

Walsh: Nobody has helped me more over my NHL career than fellow referee Paul Devorski. I've worked a lot of games with Paul and we’ve had the opportunity to travel together on the road. As an elite, veteran referee, he has been able to pass down some of his knowledge to me to help me become a better official. Paul is retiring this year, and our staff will sorely miss him.

USAH: How has the game changed, besides speed, since you started in the early 2000s?

Walsh: I would say the biggest change besides the speed of the game would be the use of technology. It is amazing what you see at rink – teams have iPads on the bench, super slo-motion video replays, hi-def video scoreboards, etc. With all that technology, it makes the officials job appear easy. People forget that the official on the ice sees a play one time, in real time, and must make a split-second decision on that play. It often appears quite different when you see a replay in super slo-mo on hi-def after a game.

USAH: What advice can you give aspiring NHL/professional league officials as they progress in their career? 

Walsh: I would say make sure you have a backup plan. Making it to the NHL is everyone’s goal, but there are very few jobs available. There are so many factors that go into hiring an official and a lot of those are out of your control. Go and work the highest level available to you. Don't worry about other officials, if you are good enough, the NHL will find you. Also, control what you can control – always work on your skating, know your rules and come to the rink every night with a strong work ethic and a great attitude.

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