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Langenbrunner named captain of U.S. ice hockey team

By Steve Keating

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - New Jersey Devils's Jamie Langenbrunner was called on to provide leadership for a young squad when he was named captain of the United States men's ice hockey team on Monday for next month's Vancouver Olympics.

"We've had some difficult decisions and long discussions and some profanity-laced arguments through this selection process but the one thing we didn't have any kind of a fight on was picking our captain," Team USA general manager Brian Burke told reporters.

"Jamie is a serving NHL captain ... he's been a model of consistency, of versatility. This is a guy that does just about everything well on an ice surface and lots of things well in the dressing room."

Langenbrunner, who represented the U.S. at the 1998 Nagano Games, will be one of three players with Winter Olympic experience on a squad with 20 rookies.

During 15 NHL seasons with the Devils and Dallas Stars, he has won a Stanley Cup with both teams and registered 222 goals and 585 points in 927 career games.

GREAT LEADERS

"There are plenty of leaders on this team, to be picked is a great honor," said Langenbrunner. "I'm not too worried about leadership on this team, we have plenty of great leaders.

"As far as individual things I don't have anything to compare this to. To be singled out as captain is an honor and something I am going to take very seriously.

"We all know our goal and are looking forward to the challenge of going to Vancouver and winning a gold medal."

The U.S. also named four alternate captains including Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter, whose father Bob Suter was a member of the 'Miracle in Ice' gold-medal team at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski, who will be playing in his third Olympics, Los Angeles Kings's Dustin Brown and the Devils's Zach Parise are the other alternates.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)