Detroit Red Wings Will Be Well-Represented at 2014 Winter Olympics

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Detroit Red Wings Will Be Well-Represented at 2014 Winter Olympics

Alfredsson Zetterberg Ericsson
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, the rosters for the teams who had not yet made their lineup public for the 2014 Winter Olympics came out, and many NHL stars will be headed to Sochi next month. One team that will be incredibly well-represented at the Olympics this year is the Detroit Red Wings, who will see ten players and a coach in action in Sochi. Most of the players going have a great deal of international experience, while others were somewhat surprising additions for their home countries.

One thing that isn’t a surprise is that the Red Wings feature prominently on Sweden’s roster, with six players slated to represent Tre Kronor. In addition to those six players, two Red Wings will represent Slovakia, while one will join Team USA and another will be a part of a Russian squad that faces a lot of pressure to bring home a gold medal as the host country. Head coach Mike Babcock will once again be behind the bench for Canada, trying to win a gold medal for a second consecutive Olympics.

The first half of the Red Wings season has been one of inconsistency, as the team looks like a bona fide Stanley Cup contender one night and like a team that could miss the playoffs completely on other nights. They’ll hopefully be in a comfortable place in the standings before the Olympic break, and with these 10 players headed to Sochi it’s almost guaranteed that at least one Red Wing will come home with a medal.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist 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
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

The pressure is on Team Russia to win gold as the host country, and Pavel Datsyuk is one of the NHL stars who will try and help them with that goal. He was part of the team that won gold at the 2012 World Championships, and he won bronze medals at the 2002 Olympics and 2005 World Championships and silver at the 2010 World Championships. His 15 goals lead the Red Wings this season, and he has 32 points in 35 games while playing more than a minute more than any other forward on the team.

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Henrik Zetterberg, Sweden

Henrik Zetterberg
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

Henrik Zetterberg will serve as captain for Team Sweden at this year's Olympics, and he will be looking to capture a gold medal for a second time. In 2006 he won gold at the Olympics and World Championships, then became a member of the Triple Gold Club when the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2008. He leads Detroit with 32 points (in 36 games) this season.

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Daniel Alfredsson, Sweden

Daniel Alfredsson
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Alfredsson will be searching for a second gold medal when the 2014 Olympics begin. He has represented Sweden internationally 13 times, and served as assistant captain for his home country at the 2012 World Championships. He is proving to be a great addition for the Red Wings this season, as his 11 goals and 30 points put him third on the team behind only Datsyuk and Zetterberg.

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Jonathan Ericsson, Sweden

Jonathan Ericsson
Joe Camporeale - USA TODAY Sports

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson played more minutes than any other skater as Sweden took home a bronze medal at the 2010 World Championships. He's currently recovering from a rib injury, but should be healthy before the 2014 Olympics kick off.

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Johan Franzen, Sweden

Johan Franzen
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

Johan Franzen will have a chance become a member of the Triple Gold Club if Sweden brings home the top prize in 2014, as he won gold at the 2006 World Championships and won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008. He hasn't played December 15th because of a concussion, but he is expected to return to action by the end of the week. His nine goals (fourth) and 22 points (fifth) in 30 games this season show how valuable he can be to a team when he is healthy.

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Niklas Kronwall, Sweden

Niklas Kronwall
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

Another member of the Triple Gold Club, defenseman Niklas Kronwall won gold with Sweden at the 2006 Olympics. He also took home a gold medal at the 2006 World Championships and silver medal at the 2003 World Championships. He is fourth on the Red Wings with 28 points this season, and he is tied for the team lead with 13 power play points.

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Tomas Tatar, Slovakia

Tomas Tatar
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

Tomas Tatar is no stranger to representing Slovakia on the international stage, even though this will be his first time doing so at the Olympics. He was part of a team that brought home a silver medal from the 2012 World Championships, and also represented his home country at the 2010 World Championships and the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Championships. He has eight goals and 16 points for the Red Wings this season, and was the AHL's Playoff MVP last season as he helped the Grand Rapids Griffins to a championship with 16 goals in 24 playoff games.

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Tomas Jurco, Slovakia

Tomas Jurco
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

The addition of Tomas Jurco to Slovakia's roster may have been a little bit of a surprise, and his seven-game debut with the Red Wings this season likely helped make it possible. After posting 14 goals and 28 points as an AHL rookie last season, Jurco is leading the Grand Rapids Griffins with 29 points in 29 games this season.

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Jonas Gustavsson, Sweden

Jonas Gustavsson
Jerry Lai - USA TODAY Sports

Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson is off to the best start of his NHL career, with an 11-3-2 record and 2.39 goals-against average. He won his only start while representing Sweden in the 2010 Olympics, and won bronze medals at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships. He'll be competing for time between the pipes with Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers) and Jhonas Enroth (Buffalo Sabres).

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Jimmy Howard, United States

Jimmy Howard
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

It may have been a bit of a surprise that Jimmy Howard was the third and final goaltender named to the United States' roster considering the up-and-down season he has had. Howard is 7-9-8 with a 2.65 goals-against average this season, but came through with one of his best performances of the year after being named to Team USA. His 44 saves helped the Red Wings defeat the Dallas Stars on Jan. 4.

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Mike Babcock, Canada

Mike Babcock
Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

After leading Canada to gold at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock will once again be behind the bench for the heavily-favored Canadians in Sochi. With a gold medal at the 2004 World Championships and a 2008 Stanley Cup championship under his belt, Babcock is the only coach to be a member of the Triple Gold Club.

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