Pavel Datsyuk made it clear his two Stanley Cup championships with the Detroit Red Wings now rank second on his list of accomplishments.
“You play for your country — it is more important,” Datsyuk said after captaining the Olympic Athletes from Russia to an Olympic gold medal with a 4-3 overtime win against Germany.
It was the first Olympic win by the Russians since the Unified Team won the gold medal at the 1992 Games in France.
“It feels good to have accomplished my dream,” Datsyuk said. “Now I have no dream.”
Datsyuk, at 39 years, 220 days, becomes the oldest male to win an Olympic hockey gold, replacing Carl Erhardt (39 years, one day), who helped Great Britain win in 1936.
By virtue of winning gold in PyeongChang, Russian forward Pavel Datsyuk is the newest member of the IIHF’s Triple Gold Club. He is the 28th player so honoured.
Datsyuk won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002 and 2008, and he won World Championship gold with Russia in 2012. And now he won Olympic gold with the Olympic Athletes from Russia in an overtime win in the final against Germany.
“I’ve not even thought about the Triple Gold Club yet,” he said after the game. “But when it sinks in, I guess I’ll need a new dream to shoot for because all my dreams have come true.”
Additionally, Datsyuk has won Olympic bronze (2002), World Championship silver (2010) and bronze (2005, 2016) and played in the World Cup twice (2004, 2016).
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 25, 2018
Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images pic.twitter.com/LIXyxeIqtk
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) February 25, 2018
Update: Here’s more from the AP’s Stephen Whyno:
Even though Datsyuk won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002 and 2008, the 39-year-old said capturing gold at the Olympics in his fifth try was his greatest accomplishment, even in a tournament without NHL players and even when called “Team Olympic Athlete From Russia” because of sanctions over state-sponsored doping.
“When you play for your country and I win this medal, this special time, it’s more important,” Datsyuk said. “I have accomplished my dream. Now I have no dream.”
Datsyuk, who took home a bronze medal in Salt Lake City in 2002, had six assists to help the Russians capture Pyeongchang gold as captain and one of their best players.
“There are a lot of nice feelings now in my heart, but at the same time I can’t believe it yet.”