Ten Red Wings named to Olympic teams
Red Wings fans will have plenty of players to cheer for when men’s hockey games start in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
There will be 10 players spread among four countries’ teams. That ties the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues for most players going to the Olympics.
In addition, Mike Babcock will coach Team Canada and general manager Ken Holland is an assistant general manager for the team.
Not surprisingly, Team Sweden will look a lot like the Wings as six will wear the Tre Kroner (three crowns).
Daniel Alfredsson, 41, will make his fifth Olympic appearance.
Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will probably catch him someday as he will appear in his fourth Olympics at age 33.
"This will be my fourth Olympics and the other three have been unreal experiences,” Zetterberg told the Wings’ website last week. "You just go there and play for your country and it’s not just hockey.
"You’re part of a group with other athletes and you experience their successes and their failures and their preparations and it’s a great two weeks. I’m looking forward to this one just as much as I did the past ones.
"It’s been a few tough defeats and we won the gold in Turin, so I’ve been through it all and hopefully we can get another gold."
Defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who was with Alfredsson and Zetterberg when Team Sweden won the gold medal in 2006, is on his third Olympic team.
Johan Franzen, who is recovering from a concussion, Jonathan Ericsson, recovering from broken ribs and Jonas Gustavsson, bothered by a sore groin lately, also made the team.
Franzen and Gustavsson played in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
Ericsson is making it for the first time. Ericsson’s older brother, Jimmie, a forward, also made the team.
The pressure will be on Pavel Datsyuk, making his fourth Olympic appearance, as he will play for Team Russia in Russia.
The day of the Winter Classic, Team USA announced that goaltender Jimmy Howard would be on the squad.
Also making the Olympics for Team Slovakia are Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco.
"I was hoping I would make it, and I thought I had a chance, but I didn’t know for sure," Jurco told MLive.com. "I knew I had a pretty good chance after I played in the NHL. Those few games helped me."
The 12-team tournament runs from Feb. 12 to Feb. 23.