The Olympic Athletes from Russia men’s hockey team was unveiled early Thursday morning, and there are many names that will be familiar to NHL fans.
Headlining the group is former Red Wings centre Pavel Datsyuk and former Thrashers/Devils sniper Ilya Kovalchuk, who both play for the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg. The entire 25-man roster is made up of players off three KHL teams: St. Petersburg (15), CSKA Moscow (8) and Metallurg Magnitogorsk (2).
Russia has not medalled in any of the past three Olympics, all of which had NHL participation. The last time Russia earned a medal was when it claimed bronze in 2002 and the last time the country earned gold at the men’s hockey event was in 1992, when it played under the Unified Team banner after the fall of the Soviet Union.