COLOGNE/MANNHEIM – Hockey fans in Germany will soon see some new international stars. Russia’s Pavel Datsyuk and Sweden’s Jonathan Ericsson and Michael Nylander will join their squads at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.
The ousting of the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup playoffs brings one Russian and one Swede to Germany.
The Russian Hockey Federation announced that Datsyuk will join its national team in Cologne in the near future after the Red Wings lost their conference semi-finals against the San Jose Sharks.
Datsyuk, 31, was the Red Wings’ scoring leader with 27 goals and 70 points in 80 regular-season games. He also had 13 points (6+7) in 12 post-season games.
While the centre and three-time Olympian is a top scorer, he also won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward the last two years and the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play the last four years.
Russia will play Kazakhstan this afternoon. Head Coach Vyacheslav Bykov announced that Alexander Eremenko will be the starting goalie and Semyon Varlamov the backup. Vasili Koshechkin was in the net for the first game when Russia defeated Slovakia 3-1.
Datsyuk’s Detroit teammate, Jonathan Ericsson, will play his first-ever IIHF tournament with the Swedish national team, where he will join his brother Jimmie.
The 26-year-old defenceman is a late-bloomer. After having split several seasons between first- and second-tier teams in Sweden, Ericsson transferred to the Detroit Red Wings organization at age 22. He spent most of his time with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins before playing his first full NHL season this year. In 62 regular-season games, Ericsson notched 13 points (4+9).
Ericsson is expected to arrive in Germany today.
The Swedish Ice Hockey Association also announced that former NHLer Michael Nylander, 37, who played for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and Finland’s Jokerit Helsinki this year, will be registered for today’s game against France “if nothing unforeseen happens.”