(AP) – Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane will be the United States captain at the upcoming IIHF World Hockey Championship in Denmark.
USA Hockey announced Kane as its first player for the tournament after naming Jeff Blashill as head coach on Monday. General manager Bill Zito praised Kane’s enthusiasm and eagerness to play for the U.S. at the world championships after the Blackhawks missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, when he also participated.
Kane played for the U.S. at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics and next month will lead a strong team that includes Buffalo Sabres rookie and world junior MVP Casey Mittelstadt and possibly Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin. Blashill, who coaches Larkin in Detroit, is back after making his international coaching debut at worlds a year ago.
Dan Bylsma, Don Granato and Seth Appert were named as Blashill’s assistants. (Ed. note: Blashill also coached for the Grand Rapids Griffins.)