Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 31

Pavel Datsyuk shows off hockey's hardware to the Mayor of Yekaterinburg, Russia. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Although the Red Wings saw something special in Pavel Datsyuk when they drafted him 171st overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, never in their wildest dreams did they expect that he would evolve into a superstar. And yet, that is exactly a term comfortably hung upon the shoulders of the young Russian Red Wing.

Pavel debuted in Detroit in 2001-02 and produced a modest 11 goals and 24 assists. Although he had mentored the young Russian forward, after Sergei Fedorov left the Wings during the summer of 2003, Datsyuk found his niche, earning more icetime and confidence and being thrust into a more significant role on the team. That 2003-04 season saw Pavel reach the 30-goal plateau, and he was selected for the first time to compete in the mid-season NHL All-Star Game.

After the lock-out in 2004-05, Datsyuk returned to the Wings and further blossomed. In the three years since, Datsyuk has netted seasons of 87, 87 and 97 points (leading the team in scoring all three seasons), and has been the recipient of the Lady Byng Trophy for his gentlemanly play each of the last three seasons as well. In 2007-08, he added the Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward, a second trip to the NHL All-Star Game as well, of course, as his second Stanley Cup championship.

Atop an oil rig, Datsyuk proudly hoists the Stanley Cup.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Pavel Datsyuk received the Stanley Cup in Yekaterinburg, Russia on August 10, and as he did six years earlier, shared the legendary trophy with his community. His first stop was at a local rink so that youngsters playing minor hockey could see the Stanley Cup. Then it was off to a town celebration. While being honoured, Tina Jablonski, a Detroit resident who was on a European vacation with friends, made a point of travelling to Yekaterinburg to see Datsyuk with the Stanley Cup.

Yekaterinburg is 1,036 miles (1,667 kms.) east of Moscow. On the 11th, Pavel, his wife Svetlana and their daughter Elizabeth travelled another 266 miles (477 kms.) further east to Tyumen, where another celebration had been planned. Several local dignitaries, including the mayor, honoured the Detroit star at a luncheon in his honour. A massive celebration was then unfurled at the local rink, involving thousands of fans.

* * *

On Friday, the Stanley Cup will return to North America, and as the pages of the Stanley Cup Journal turn, we'll visit defenceman Bryan Rafalski in Wisconsin. See you then!

Kevin Shea is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

All Photographs are property of the Hockey Hall of Fame or Getty Images and may not be reproduced without prior written consent. For more information regarding use of our photographs please contact us.
Stanley Cup Final
Game Six
2 min 56 sec

Play Video
Dressing Room
2 min 4 sec

Play video
Cup Celebration
& Parade
4 min 10 sec

Play video
Team Photo
Shoot 1 min 11 sec

Play video

  >> View videos straight from the Keepers of the Cup!
  >> Check out the all-time list of Detroit Red Wing Honoured Members
  >> See our tribute to the Red Wing dynasty teams of the 1950's
  >> Take a look at the 2002 Stanley Cup tour through our photo gallery