Jan 1, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) carries the puck around Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier (45) in the second period during the 2014 Winter Classic hockey game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Pavel Datsyuk Should Sit Out Winter Olympics


avel Datysuk has been missing from the Red Wings line-up since January 1st with a lower body injury. With the Wings teetering on the edge of the play-off bubble, Datsyuk seems no closer to getting back into the line-up.

Now with the Winter Olympics beginning next week, Datsyuk has refused to say whether or not he will miss the opportunity to captain team Russia in Sochi.

No comment. Everybody has his own (opinion), everybody has own (decision).” Datsyuk told the Detroit Free Press.

But that response won’t sooth the ire of fans who think Datsyuk is selfishly sitting out to prepare for the Olympics.

According to a Free Press article, Datsyuk said he is planning to play “one or two games this week” before departing for the Olympics.  But Datsyuk did not play on Monday against Vancouver and with just two games remaining before the Olympics time is running out.

Is Pavel Datysuk putting country before contract? Is it right for him to even participate in the Winter Olympics after missing more than a month while his team struggles to stay in playoff contention? We he continue with his plan to captain team Russia in Sochi?

All valid questions but in the end only Pavel Datsyuk knows the answer.

The Olympics are only played every four years and Pavel Datsyuk may never get another opportunity to take the ice as the captain for his countries hockey team.  It is a tremendous opportunity and Ken Holland seems to understand that fact despite concerns for the health of his star center.

Am I worried?” said Holland. “Of course, I’m worried. But I understand what an opportunity this is for every Russian and every other player. Pavel has a decision to make and I understand that it’s his decision and I respect that its his decision.”

That said the Red Wings do have a playoff run to consider and they will need Datsyuk healthy and in the line-up to make that happen.

Tags: 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Detroit Red Wings Pavel Datysuk Team Russia

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