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KAZAN, February 01, 22:09 /ITAR-TASS/. The coaching staff of the Russian national ice hockey team should be ready to replace captain of the national team Pavel Datsyuk, who has not taken part in the National Hockey League (NHL) games since January 1 due to the trauma, senior coach Zinatula Bilyaletdinov told Itar-Tass on Saturday.
The Detroit Red Wings forward Datsyuk took part in the training on January 30 for the first time after the trauma.
“I hope that he (Datsyuk) will recover and take part in the game. We maintain permanent contacts with him. It is very difficult to replace him. This is not a secret that he is a key player of our team,” the senior coach said, adding “We need Pavel very much. But we should be ready for all.”
The men’s hockey Olympic tournament will be held from February 12 to February 23. The Russian team will play the first game with Slovenia on February 13.
Datsyuk took part in 35 games in NHL championship and he is second on the Red Wings in points with 32 (15 G, 17 A).