Posted: Wed January 15, 2014 12:04PM; Updated: Wed January 15, 2014 12:04PM

Pavel Datsyuk named captain of Team Russia for Sochi Olympics

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Pavel Datsyuk
Datroit's Pavel Datsyuk's leadership and stick wizardry will make Team Russia a gold medal contender.
ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images/AFP/Getty Images

MOSCOW (AP) -- Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk has been named captain of Russia's Olympic hockey team.

Datsyuk is recovering from a lower-body injury that has sidelined him almost two weeks. This will be his fourth Olympics.

Datsyuk says on Twitter he is "honored" by the captain's spot. He adds that the team "embraces the opportunity and responsibility of representing our country on the home ice."

The Russian staff chose the 35-year-old Datsyuk over such candidates as Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Ovechkin is the only Russian captain in the NHL and voiced support for Datsyuk on the day Olympic rosters were announced. Kovalchuk left the New Jersey Devils to play in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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