Pavel Datsyuk To Reporters: “Babcock Is Not My Concern”


Pavel Datsyuk is fired up in Sochi (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Pavel Datsyuk is fired up in Sochi (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Those Are Fightin Words

Pavel Datsyuk‘s media scrums are making waves in Russia. It’s pretty clear by his temperament that Team Russia’s captain is all business heading into the Olympic hockey competition which begins today.

After reporters mentioned that Team Canada head coach Mike Babcock stated Datsyuk is not 100 percent healthy, Pavel fired back stating that: “Babcock is not my concern.” These comments made obvious headlines as Babcock also serves as Datsyuk’s head coach in Detroit.

Clearly, Datsyuk has shelved all ties to the Red Wings as he pursues a gold medal with Team Russia. Babcock may be his coach back in Hockeytown, but for the time being Pavel has let it be known that any friendships from Detroit have been cast aside.

Datsyuk who is generally known for having a good sense of humor and an easy going disposition with the media is taking the Olympic hockey competition as no laughing matter. The CBC’s Elliote Friedman had a similar interaction with him yesterday and it’s not so much what he says but how he says it.

A Motivated Man

As a fan of the Detroit Red Wings I enjoy seeing this type of intensity from Pavel Datsyuk. Although his tone was a bit surprising, I have absolutely no problem with what he said.

However, Datsyuk’s comments do reinforce the belief that European players value international competition more than National Hockey League play. Let me ask you this: when have you ever heard Pavel make these kinds of remarks in Detroit?

He never has and that just goes to show how fired up Datsyuk is for this tournament. It’s a pretty scary thought what a truly motivated Pavel Datsyuk might be able to accomplish in Sochi.

And, that’s not to say that he doesn’t play hard in Detroit because night in and night out he’s one of the Wings’ top performers. In this case I think it’s more about setting the tone and  leading the way as the captain of the Russian hockey club.

Maybe, Datsyuk is simply trying to inspire teammates and to put other countries on notice that Russia means business this year. At the very least I’m sure he got the attention of his head coach back in Detroit.

After Pavel’s statements and the beating Babcock’s squad gave Russia in 2010, Team Canada better be ready if these two teams should cross paths again. With that being said, I only hope that we see this same type of determination when Pavel returns to Detroit.

Jordan Hoy

  • Jordan Hoy

    Totally agree. If this was NHL hockey he wouldn’t be playing. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Ian Dunham

    Pav is under enormous pressure. I wish he would have stayed home, as we need him healthy if we are going to make the playoffs. It’s hard to get a clear answer on his knee. Is it a “one leg” situation or is he improving? Anyway, nice piece. Go Wings.