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© RIA Novosti. Alexander Shemetov

Datsyuk named Russia’s hockey captain for Sochi Olympics

by R-Sport at 15/01/2014 13:17

Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk will captain Russia's national hockey team at the home Winter Olympics in Sochi, coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov said Wednesday.

Next month’s Olympic tournament is the fourth for the 35-year-old center, who won bronze at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

“We have a candidate for the team’s captain who was agreed upon unanimously by the coaching staff – it is Pavel Datsyuk,” Bilyaletdinov said.

Datsyuk has been playing for the national team since 2001, and won world championship gold in 2012. So far this season, he has 15 goals and 17 assists in 35 NHL games for Detroit.

Datsyuk's confirmation may disappoint Washington Captains star Alex Ovechkin, who said he would consider it "a huge honor" to captain Russia at its first home Winter Olympics. Another candidate was ex-New Jersey Devils wing Ilya Kovalchuk, now of SKA St. Petersburg, who said he considered the designation of captain meaningless.

At the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Russia's captain was former Pittsburgh Penguins star Aleksey Morozov, who led the team to a 7-3 defeat in the quarterfinal against Canada.



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