Pavel Datsyuk will captain Russian Olympic team

Martin Rose

Pavel Datsyuk will captain the 2014 Russian Olympic team.

The Russian hockey team has its captain for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and according to their coach, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, it was a unanimous decision in the eyes of the coaching staff.

The lucky recipient of that honor is Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk.

Datsyuk, 35, will be taking part in his fourth Olympics and has been a regular on the Russian national team over the years. In his previous three Olympic appearances Datsyuk has scored three goals and recorded 11 assists in 18 games, including a goal and two assists during the 2010 games in Vancouver when the Russians were blown out in the playoff round, losing a 7-3 game to Canada.

The Russian team, just as it did during the last Olympics, has a mix of both NHL and KHL players. The decision to take such a large KHL presence (it's pretty much a 60/40 split in favor of the NHL) resulted in some interesting decisions, including the fact that Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin is not on the team. Even so, with Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk all skating on their top lines the Russian team still has as much offensive firepower as any team in the tournament.

Preventing goals might be an issue with the defense corps they're putting on the ice, but scoring them should not be a problem.

In 35 games with the Red Wings this season Datsyuk has scored 15 goals to go with 17 assists.

He is also the second Red Wings player to captain his Olympic team this year as Henrik Zetterberg has the same honor for team Sweden.

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