The US is playing Canada now but it's tape-delayed for me so instead I will spam/archive some articles.
Jack Johnson Named U.S. Captain
May 3, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Defenseman Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Columbus Blue Jackets/University of Michigan) has been named captain of the 2012 U.S. Men's National Team, while forwards Jim Slater (Lapeer, Mich./Winnipeg Jets/Michigan State University) and Nate Thompson (Anchorage, Alaska/Tampa Bay Lightning) were tabbed alternate captains. The 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship begins tomorrow (May 4) and runs through May 20 in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden.
Johnson was the captain of the 2010 U.S. Men's National Team and served as an alternate captain on the 2011 U.S. Men's National Team. The 2012 IIHF Men's World Championship marks the 10th time Johnson has represented the United States in international competition. He was a silver medalist at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and has participated in four IIHF Men's World Championships (2007, 2009-11), two IIHF World Junior Championships (2006, 2007-bronze medal) and two IIHF Men's World Under-18 Championships (2004-silver medal, 2005-gold medal). He has 28 points (13-15) in 61 career games for Team USA, including 14 points (7-7) in 22 games in the IIHF Men's World Championship.
Slater and Thompson are each alternate captains for the first time. Slater is making his first appearance as a member of Team USA since the 2002 IIHF World Junior Championship. Thompson will be debuting as a member of a U.S. National Team.
Jackets’ Johnson: captain America
He heads U.S. team in world tournament
By Aaron Portzline
The Columbus Dispatch FRIDAY MAY 4, 2012 6:02 AM
For Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson, the thought process is simple: As long as he’s invited and healthy enough to pull the red, white and blue jersey over his head, he’ll say yes to playing for Team USA in international tournaments.
Some players might say that they need the time to rest after a long NHL season, but Johnson is ready and willing as long as he’s able.
“I look at it like every time I’m asked to represent my country, it could be the last time,” Johnson said. “I don’t ever want to turn it down, and I never have. That’s just how I was raised, I suppose. It’s an honor. If I’m physically able to play, I’m on my way. Just tell me when and where, and I’ll be there.”
With that approach, it’s no surprise that Johnson is revered by Team USA officials.
Yesterday, he was named captain of the Team USA squad that begins play today at the world championship. USA plays France at 5:15 a.m. in Finland. (NHL Network and NBC Sports Network will televise all USA games.)
“When you call him, there’s absolutely zero hesitation on his part,” said Jim Johannson, who is director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “It’s exciting for us to have guys like him, not just from a talent level, but also his mentality. When you put it all together, he’s definitely captain material. He’s a great guy to lead this group.”
This will be Johnson’s sixth trip to a world championship and the 13th time he has appeared with Team USA in international play.
A couple of years ago, during a packed hockey calendar, Johnson made the ultimate statement. He played in 80 of 82 games for the Los Angeles Kings during the 2009-10 season, played on the USA club that won the Olympic silver medal in Vancouver that February, and was captain of the USA squad at the world championship that May, winning silver in Germany.
Only a handful of players from the world’s hockey powers played in both the Olympics and the world championship that year.
“I’m always careful about how you characterize guys,” Johannson said, “but Jack has the same DNA as (former NHL defenseman Chris) Chelios. ‘There’s a hockey game? Great! I’m in!’ Literally, that’s just his approach to it, and I don’t think there’s any changing him.”
In the weeks leading up to this month’s worlds, Johnson called fellow Blue Jacket Cam Atkinson, a rookie in the competition, to help him know what to expect, about both the travel and the style of hockey. Atkinson has known Johnson only since Johnson was traded to Columbus in February, but he heard a level of excitement in the veteran’s voice, he said.
“Jack deserves the (captaincy),” Atkinson said. “He’s been around, and everyone looks up to him. He leaves it all out there every shift, from start to finish. He’s the perfect fit for the job, and I’m glad I’m on the same team as him.”
The Blue Jackets will be well-represented during the two-week tournament.
Defenseman Marc Methot, who missed the final two months of the season because of a broken jaw, will play for Team Canada for a second straight year. Defenseman Nikita Nikitin will make his tournament debut for Russia. Blue Jackets prospect defenseman Thomas Larkin will play for Italy.