SAN JOSE — Sharks Olympians Joe Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic are confident their security and the safety of their families won't be an issue once they arrive in Sochi this weekend.
The Sharks Olympians — Pavelski, Vlasic, Patrick Marleau and Antti Niemi — leave for Newark, N.J. on Saturday morning and take off for Sochi on Sunday. The first game for the Americans, Canadians and Team Finland is Feb. 13.
Concerns about security at the Sochi Olympics, which officially opened Friday, and in the surrounding areas have been present for several months. This week the U.S. Homeland Security Department issued a warning to airlines that toothpaste might be used as a weapon against those traveling to the games.
"You think about it because of how much you hear about it, but you put a lot of trust into those other agencies to do their job," said Pavelski, whose wife will also be going to Sochi. "We expect a fun, exciting Olympics."
Vlasic said his wife and parents are traveling to Sochi and felt that everything that can be done is being done to protect athletes and spectators.
"The Olympics, if you're lucky, you get them once in your life. My parents didn't want to pass it up and I didn't want my wife to pass it up," Vlasic said. "She's a huge hockey fan and a proud Canadian. ... She is worried about security, but she's staying at the NHLPA hotel and there's a lot of security at that hotel. They're doing the best they can to keep people safe that are going there to watch the Olympics.
"I told my wife, if we win, you might regret the opportunity that you didn't come. I'm glad she is coming, because it may happen only once."
Pictures have been shared by journalists in Sochi showing the modest living accommodations — with three single beds to a room with one bathroom — that the athletes will be staying in at the Olympics.
But Vlasic said he when he played for Team Canada at the World Championships in Finland in 2012, the rooms were the same way.
"We'll be close," Vlasic said. "Guys will really get to know each other. We'll be bonding."