NHL Detroit Red Wings

12 Detroit Red Wings Who Could Be Headed To 2014 Winter Olympics

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12 Detroit Red Wings Who Could Be Headed To 2014 Winter Olympics

Pavel Datsyuk Henrik Zetterberg
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

With the release of the 2013-14 NHL schedule on Friday came the exciting news that the league had also reached an agreement to allow their players to participate in next year’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This will continue the tradition of NHL players participating that dates back to the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan and as has been the case in previous years the Detroit Red Wings should be well-represented on the international stage.

Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall are all locks to represent their home countries in the tournament. While Datsyuk will be the lone Red Wing suiting up for the host nation, as many as six players could have a place on Sweden’s roster. Other Red Wings could find themselves on the rosters of Canada, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the United States. Nearly all of these players have prior experience representing their home countries on the international stage, and a few have impressive collections of medals from doing so. Former Red Wings Jan Mursak (Slovenia) and Valtteri Filppula (Finland) are also likely candidates to land on the rosters of their respective homelands.

The NHL will take a break from Feb. 9-24 for the Olympics, and the hockey tournament takes place Feb. 12-23. Canada is the defending champion, but will face stiff competition from the United States and Russia. Here is a look at 12 Red Wings players with the best odds of making it to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Jonathan Katje covers the Detroit Red Wings for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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Pavel Datsyuk, Russia

Pavel Datsyuk
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

Pavel Datsyuk will represent Russia at the Sochi games, as the host country tries to bring home the gold. He has a bronze, a silver and a gold medal (2005, 2010, 2012) from the World Championships and took home the bronze at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

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Henrik Zetterberg, Sweden

Henrik Zetterberg
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

Henrik Zetterberg will once again represent Sweden at the Olympics, as he looks to add to an impressive medal count that includes Olympic gold in Turin (2006), and a pair of bronze medals (2001, 2002), a silver (2003) and a gold (2006) at the World Championships.

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Johan Franzen, Sweden

Johan Franzen
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

Johan Franzen represented Sweden at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and with the retirement of Tomas Holmstrom he should be a lock to make the squad for Sochi. Franzen won gold while representing his home country at the 2006 World Championship.

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Gustav Nyquist, Sweden

Gustav Nyquist
Tom Szczerbowski - USA TODAY Sports

Gustav Nyquist would be a long shot to make Sweden’s Olympic roster, but if they look for youth and scoring ability he might have a shot. He previously represented his homeland at the World Junior Championship.

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Niklas Kronwall, Sweden

Niklas Kronwall
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

Niklas Kronwall won gold with Sweden at the 2006 World Championship and the 2006 Turin Olympics, and should be a lock to once again be on the blue line for Tre Kronor.

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Jonathan Ericsson, Sweden

Jonathan Ericsson
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Ericsson will likely join Niklas Kronwall as part of the defense corps for Team Sweden, and will look to improve on the bronze medal he took home at the 2010 World Championship.

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Daniel Alfredsson, Sweden

Daniel Alfredsson
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Alfredsson may be new to the Red Wings, but he’s no stranger to international competition. He won Olympic gold in 2006 at the Turin Games, and has two silver and two bronze medals from representing Sweden at the Wold Championships (1995, 1999, 2001, 2004).

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Stephen Weiss, Canada

Stephen Weiss
Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Weiss is another new addition to the Red Wings lineup, and while he would face long odds to crack a very talented Team Canada roster, there has to be some chance that he would fit in as a third or fourth center. Weiss won a silver medal at the 2002 World Junior Championship.

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Tomas Tatar, Slovakia

Tomas Tatar
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

Tomas Tatar could have an outside chance at joining Team Slovakia, especially after a strong showing at the 2012 World Championships. He took home a silver medal then, and has also represented his home country at the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Championships as well as the 2010 World Championship.

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Jakub Kindl, Czech Republic

Jakub Kindl
Tim Fuller - USA TODAY Sports

Defenseman Jakub Kindl is fresh off his best professional season, and could be a great depth addition for the Czech Republic.

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Jimmy Howard, USA

Jimmy Howard
Rob Grabowski - USA TODAY Sports

Goaltender Jimmy Howard faces stiff competition to get on Team USA’s roster, but could definitely be in the mix with Jonathan Quick, Cory Schneider and others. He won gold in 2002 at the U18 World Championship.

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Justin Abdelkader, USA

Justin Abdelakder
Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports

Another long shot to make Team USA’s roster is forward Justin Abdelkader. If the Americans need a gritty forward who can chip in an occasional goal, Abdelkader might be a good fit. He took home a bronze medal at the 2007 World Junior Championship and also represented the U.S. at the 2012 World Championship.