Jan 6, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Thomas Vanek (26) warms up before facing the Dallas Stars at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Sochi Olympics 2014: Thomas Vanek named captain of Team Austria

The New York Islanders are trying to find a way to keep Thomas Vanek in town after the season, but all of their contract talks with their star will have to wait for the time being as the Sochi Winter Olympics are fast approaching and Vanek is starting to focus more and more on brining his native Austria as close to gold as possible.

According to Vanek’s official site, the Isles star has been named the captain for Team Austria when the Sochi Games get underway next month.

“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.”

The role of captain on Team Austria was previously held by Thomas Koch, but he was more than happy to be handing the role over to another great Austrian player.

Vanek will be able to put his NHL future on hold for a few weeks in Sochi, but the questions of what will happen to him when he returns will persist. For now though, Vanek will embrace his role as captain of Team Austria, an honor that will no doubt motivate him in the second half of his current season with the Isles.

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Tags: 2014 Sochi Olympics New York Islanders Thomas Vanek