It is gift of skill and personality to be among the most talented people in the world at something, yet somehow manage to perform your craft without inviting the constant glare of the media spotlight.
Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings has found this happy-place; regularly displaying his dynamic hockey skills, yet also maintaining the ability to quietly live his life both on and off the ice. Don’t be fooled though. Although Datsyuk isn’t making the headlines of the New York Times every week, or appearing on SportsCenter every night, his fellow NHLPA members recognize the immense amount of skill he possesses, traits that make him among the elite in the hockey world.
Datsyuk was schooled in the art of the game of hockey in the old Soviet system and is indeed a hybrid of the old- and new-world approaches to the game. He is a quiet, silky-smooth skater; a wizard with the puck on his stick; has a killer-instinct for finishing when he gets an opportunity and is also one of the best defensive forwards in the current era of professional hockey.
All-in-all, the Red Wings have one of the best and most unique players in the league in their lineup, one whom they stole in the sixth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He has been a key member of the perennial Stanley Cup contending Red Wings teams of the last decade and is a highlight-reel moment waiting to happen whenever he takes to the ice.
After a bit of a slow start for the Red Wings, they have once again turned up their level of play and will be a major factor in the Western Conference playoff picture. With Datsyuk once again performing at the top of his game, the Red Wings will continue to be a threat this year and every season he laces his blades in Detroit.
- Pavel is leading the Red Wings in scoring so far this season, with 49 points in 44 games
- He has been hot as of late, tallying five points in the Red Wings past two games
- The three-time Selke Trophy and four-time Lady Byng Trophy recipient is having another season worthy of both prestigious awards, accumulating a paltry 10 PIMS to date and posting a strong plus-20.
- Born in Sverdlovsk, USSR (now Russia), on July 20, 1978
- Drafted in the 6th round, 171st overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings
- Two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings (2001-02 & 2007-08)
- Has suited up internationally for Russia on numerous occasions, including the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, where he was a member of the bronze medal-winning team
- Has suited up in three NHL All-Star Games (2004, 2008, & 2009) and was recently selected to take part in the 2012 mid-season showcase in Ottawa
- Recorded the top plus-minus in the 2007-08 season with a rating of plus-41
- Named to the 2010 World Championship All-Star Team and was also named the best forward