- © RIA Novosti. Vitaly Belousov
© RIA Novosti. Vitaly Belousov
MOSCOW, December 16 (R-Sport) – Dallas Start defenseman Sergei Gonchar is hoping to become the first Russian hockey player to feature at five Olympic Games, he told R-Sport on Monday.
The 39-year-old has been an integral part of the Russian Olympic roster since 1998, winning silver medals in Nagano and bronze in Salt Lake City.
“I couldn’t imagine that I will have a chance to participate in such a number of Olympic tournaments,” Gonchar said. “I’m already happy that I played at four Olympic Games, but I hope to go to a fifth.”
Gonchar, who has recently entered the top 100 NHL players of all time by making 1207 appearances, added he hoped Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk would be captain for the Olympic tournament.
“If I get such an honor, then I’ll take it with pleasure, but I think there are more worthy guys,” he said. “I think Pasha Datsyuk is the most obvious candidate, he is an experienced player who leads the team.”
Russia coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov must submit his Olympics roster to the International Ice Hockey Federation by January 7.
In Sochi, four-time world champion Russia is under great pressure to win gold following Vancouver 2010 failure, when the team was pounded 7-3 by Canada in the quarterfinal.