Programming note: Stars-Sharks coverage begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
SAN JOSE – Security concerns at the upcoming Olympics in Sochi have been rampant in the days leading up to the Opening Ceremony on Friday.
The San Jose Sharks have four players that will compete for their respective countries in Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Patrick Marleau (Canada), Joe Pavelski (USA) and Antti Niemi (Finland).
Neither Vlasic, Marleau nor Pavelski expressed any outward apprehension over the situation.
“It crosses your mind, but I have a lot of faith in the Olympics and the committee that they are going to have the right security in place for us,” said Marleau, who competed in Vancouver in 2010. “I hear tidbits about it. Hopefully where we are at or where the families are going to be at, that things are working properly by the time we get there.”
Pavelski said: “There’s a lot of people that are doing their jobs over there to keep us safe, and give us the best experience. I think we have a lot of trust in them, too.”
Pavelski’s wife will be with him, while Vlasic’s wife and parents will be making the trip. Marleau’s family is not going.
Vlasic said he has been told everything will be secure, but “who knows. They’re doing everything they can to make it secure, I would assume. Everybody will be watching. They want to keep their athletes safe, and whoever is coming to watch the Olympics, as well.”
“I’m sure they’re doing the best they can. Even if I was concerned or not, I can’t control what happens.”
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Pavelski will be playing in the final Sharks game before the Olympic break on Feb. 7, which will also be “Joe Pavelski Day” in his hometown of Plover, Wisconsin.
The 29-year-old played high school and college hockey in Wisconsin, and his parents still live in Plover. Pavelski has a house in nearby Madison, and spends most of his offseason there.
“It’s a great town and a great place to grow up. People are proud to be from there, work hard, and it’s really nice of them to make this day,” Pavelski said. “It’s a tremendous honor, I don’t know what else to say. You don’t really expect anything like this, and it’s pretty cool.”
Pavelski’s parents have been active in the days leading up to the event.
“They’ve had fun with interviews,” Pavelski said.
For more information on Joe Pavelski Day, check out CSNBayArea.com's Field of Teams page, here.