Thomas Vanek will be wearing the captain’s “C” once again this season, this time for his country at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Via news from Vanek’s website, Team Austria coach Manny Viveiros announced Vanek as team captain replacing forward Thomas Koch in that role.
“Vanek is a star player for us and also in the NHL, that’s enough to make him captain,” Viveiros said. “He is a role-model for all young players in Austria.”
Koch is still a member of the Austrian team at this year’s Olympics but said he was fine with the decision citing Vanek’s role as co-captain of the Buffalo Sabres earlier this season.
Vanek is one of three current NHL players on Team Austria joining New York Islanders teammate Michael Grabner and Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl. Former NHL players on the team include defenseman Thomas Pock and forward Andreas Nodl.
Austria opens the Olympics in the same group as Canada, Finland, and Norway.