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USA Hockey names Red Wings’ Justin Abdelkader captain of World Championship team

Via RedWingsFeed, I wasn't kidding when I suggested that the World Championships are "going young" this year. Ahead of Team USA's World Championship-opening game against Belarus today (1:45 PM EDT on NBCSN; Tomas Tatar's Slovaks and Jakub Kindl's Czechs also battle at 1:45). USA Hockey's named Justin Abdelkader team captain...

Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon, Mich./Detroit Red Wings/Michigan State Univ.) was named captain of the 2014 U.S. Men’s National Team here today. Team USA begins the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship tonight (May 9) against Belarus, the host nation, at Minsk Arena.

Additionally, Craig Smith (Madison, Wis./Nashville Predators/Univ. of Wisconsin) will serve as an alternate captain. The second alternate captain role will be shared by Colin McDonald (Wethersfield, Conn./New York Islanders/Providence College) and Tim Stapleton (La Grange, Ill./AK Bars Kazan/Univ. of Minnesota Duluth). McDonald will wear an ‘A’ when the U.S. wears its white jerseys, while Stapleton will don an ‘A’ when the U.S. wears its blue jerseys.

Abdelkader previously skated for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden. He had a goal and three assists in that tournament. Abdelkader also played for the 2007 U.S. National Junior that earned the bronze medal in Leksand and Mora, Sweden.

Smith is making his fourth consecutive appearance on the U.S. Men’s National Team. A year ago, he had a team-best 10 assists and had 14 points overall en route to Team USA’s bronze-medal showing. Stapleton is a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team for the third time in four years (2011, 2013). He had two goals and three assists during the bronze-medal run in 2013. McDonald is making his debut on a U.S. National Team.

Team USA faces Belarus today at 1:45 p.m. EDT in the tournament opener for both teams. NBC Sports Network will televise the game live, while NBC Sports Live Extra will provide live streaming coverage.

And the team posted a video of Abdelkader discussing his captaincy after the Americans' morning skate:

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Comments

Avatar

Good for Abby

Posted by George0211 on 05/09/14 at 10:12 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Good for Justin.  Hadn’t looked at the roster but he had a very good tournament in 2012, and was on he Olympic team watch list.

Posted by RWBill from #savethelivingroom #ihateCartmanbrah on 05/09/14 at 10:18 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Now, go and win it, Abber.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 05/09/14 at 11:30 AM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

way to go Musky’s own Gator ...

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 05/09/14 at 05:49 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.