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Datsyuk named captain of Russian Olympic hockey team

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TSN.ca Staff
1/15/2014 11:08:03 AM
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Pavel Datsyuk will be the man to don the "C" for the Russian Olympic hockey team when they play on home ice in Sochi.

Speaking with R-Sport on Wednesday, Russia's head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov said the coaching staff had decided on Datsyuk as the team's captain.

"We have a candidate for the team's captain who was agreed upon unanimously by the coaching staff - it is Pavel Datsyuk."

Datsyuk later confirmed the news via Twitter.

"I am honoured to be named a captain. Our team embraces the opportunity and responsibility of representing our country on the home ice."

The Red Wings forward - and alternate captain - has appeared in three previous Olympic Games for Russia, winning one medal - a bronze at Salt Lake City in 2002.

The 35-year-old has 15 goals and 17 assists in 35 games with the Red Wings this season.

Datsyuk will take the place of Aleksey Morozov, who captained the team in 2010 but was not named to the Sochi roster.

Other candidates for the captaincy included Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Ilya Kovalchuk, formerly of the New Jersey Devils.

Ovechkin had voiced support for Datsyuk as captain when the Olympic roster was announced.

According to R-Sport, Kovalchuk did not believe the captaincy meant more than a letter.

"A patch on your chest means nothing. To win at the Olympics, everyone in our team must be a captain."

Datsyuk is the second Red Wing to be named a captain at the 2014 Games, Henrik Zetterberg was named captain of the Swedish team. Teammate Daniel Alfredsson will serve as one alternate while Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin will serve as the other.

In total, ten Red Wings will travel to the Sochi Games.

Pavel Datsyuk  (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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