January 1 will always be more than just the beginning of the New Year for Joe Pavelski
as on the first day of 2010 he was named to the United States Olympic team. Pavelski was just as excited as his fellow Sharks teammates who took similar calls in the past week.
“It was awesome,” said Pavelski of his inclusion on the prestigious team. “It kind of takes your breath away. As they’ve announced the other teams, you’re excited for them (teammates named).”
Pavelski actually got a heads up prior to the announcement to the entire country during the Winter Classic.
“I got a call this morning from David Poile and we got a packet in the mail late last night with a letter in it,” said Pavelski. “He said they were excited to have me on the team and to give my family a heads up.”
After taking his call, Pavelski followed Poile’s advice.
“I called my parents late last night,” said Pavelski, who followed that call with ones to siblings and others influential in his career. One call went to Sharks Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Mike Potenza who’s been with him “since day one when I couldn’t lift a dumbbell over my head.”
The official announcement was not a surprise to Pavelski because of the official call earlier in the morning, but he did watch the Winter Classic ceremony and enjoyed the presentation which had each player introduced when a youth hockey player turned around and had the Olympian’s name on his jersey.
“I wanted to watch and liked the way they did it with the little kids,” said Pavelski.
The Plover, Wisconsin native will have the benefit of having played for U.S. Head Coach Ron Wilson during his tenure in San Jose.
“I don’t know if it will be exactly his system,” said Pavelski. “They’ll put together an up tempo game for us to play. They’ll piece us together where they want us.”
Pavelski’s position gives the Sharks eight Olympians for Vancouver. The others are Canadians Joe Thornton
, Patrick Marleau
, Dan Boyle
and Dany Heatley; Swede Douglas Murray
; German Thomas Greiss
; and Russia’s Evgeni Nabokov.
Pavelski has worn the red, white and blue a few times in his career, most recently at the 2009 World Championships.