Red Wings: Should Pavel Datsyuk play in the Olympics?

Most Hockeytown fans already know the story behind Pavel Datsyuk and 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

For those that don’t, here are the important facts:

  • Pavel Datsyuk is the captain for the Russian Olympic team.
  • He lead Russia to a World Championship in 2012 and has a Bronze medal from 2002.
  • Datsyuk, before last night, had not played since the Winter Classic because of lower-body injuries.
  • He missed a total of 14 games during that time period.
detroit red wings

This will be Datsyuk’s 4th Olympic Games. (Photo Credit: Y! Sports)

Before I can get to the question at hand, “should Pavel Datsyuk play in the Olympics?” here’s a look at what head coach Mike Babcock and Datsyuk have said about the current situation.

Babcock: “It’s in his country, he wants to play bad, but he’s a smart guy, he isn’t going to jeopardize his career over something like this. Makes no sense. So we got to trust him. Same way it happens all the time. You trust them. In the end, they make the decision. That’s what injured players do.”

Datsyuk: “Hoping I’m in good shape,” and “Sooner or later, I need to start [playing].”

So, with the background information laid out, answering the question should be easy, right?

That depends on who you ask. The answer is a bit more complex than you may think. I’ll explain.

There are two logical reasons why people wouldn’t want Datysuk to play in Sochi. First, he gets reinjured and has to miss even more time with the Red Wings. A scenario that’s easily avoidable if he doesn’t play. Second, a reason many haven’t thought of before but it’s probably in the back of your mind, if the Russian superstar doesn’t play it gives Team USA a better chance to win.

It’s rather obvious why Red Wings’ fans (or even Americans) would want Pavel Datsyuk to watch the Olympics and rest. But, before you jump to that conclusion, take a look at the other side of the argument.

Pavel Datsyuk is a professional and a classy guy. He should know if he’s healthy enough to play, like Babcock said in the quote above. Also, this is his home Olympics; a once and a lifetime opportunity for the 35 years old. Time is running out for a man that has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup twice. Getting his first Gold medal in front of his peers would perhaps be the biggest moment of his career.

So, while the question reads should Pavel Datsyuk play in the Olympics? How you answer it is a telling sign if you care more about the corporate landscape of the business or more about players’ ambitions as human beings.

I shouldn’t leave without answering the question, but there really is no right or wrong answer. It depends on what type of person you are. So, I’ll depart with this –

Go have fun in Sochi Pavel and don’t beat up on the Americans too much.

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  • 547984

    Sure. It would be awkward if Russia plays Sweden though.