The setting was the Team USA's camp for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, so naturally much of it focused on USA Hockey. When Hradek did touch base about the Sharks, it was naturally to discuss rebounding from a tough defeat in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs to the Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings.
Pavelski revealed that his comfort level is higher than it was in 2010. At that point, he had not yet emerged as a top-tier player in the NHL. Neither the 2010 nor 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs performances that earned him the nickname The Big Pavelski had occurred.
He was not a sure thing to make Team USA for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. He is more of a lock than anyone else from San Jose because he provides something up the middle, where USA Hockey is not strong.
Pavelski did not focus on the obvious upgrade in his status as a player, backed up by the Sharks signing him to a five-year, $30 million extension beyond the 2013-14 season. What he did talk about was how much easier it is to know what to expect and have familiar faces.
Nevertheless, the main reason it will be different is he has proven himself. Even by the gold-medal game in 2010, he was chosen for the faceoff that led to the game-tying goal because he is one of the best in the world in the circle. (More on his expected role on what should be a medal-winning team was detailed previously.)