USA Today’s Kevin Allen spoke with CBC/TSN/NBCSN announcer Ray Ferraro, agent Igor Larionov and some of Pavel Datsyuk’s peers to discuss the importance of winning an Olympic gold for #13:
He turns 40 in five months, and it’s anticipated that he will retire after the Kontinental Hockey League playoffs. He has played two seasons in his native Russia since leaving the NHL after the 2015-16 season.
“His head, hands, and the DNA of his work ethic, are still there,” Ferraro said. “He doesn’t have the same foot speed he used to have, but at 39 who does?”
The Russians are considered the favorite to win the gold medal in men’s hockey.
“The last chance for a gold medal is motivation for him,” said Russian great Igor Larionov, Datsyuk’s teammate with the Detroit Red Wings. “He has a Stanley Cup, but he doesn’t have a gold.”
Datsyuk looked highly motivated, playing surprisingly physical, in his team’s 4-0 win against the Americans. He has two points in three games.
“Pavel is a fantastic player,” said Russian forward Nikolai Prokhorkin, a Los Angeles Kings prospect. “We all know how much he has achieved during his career. He helps us in every way he can. Above all, with his game and experience.”