FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Ten Detroit Red Wings players will represent their countries in this year’s Sochi Olympics.
Pavel Datsyuk was announced Tuesday to the Russian squad.
Jimmy Howard is Detroit’s lone representative on Team USA, while Sweden will of course be loaded with players who otherwise don the winged wheel.
Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, defensemen Nicklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson and forwards Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson will also play for Sweden. Zetterberg is the Swedes’ captain.
Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco are on the Slovakian team.
RUSSIA: Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin will lead Russia’s hockey team at the Sochi Olympics, with the host country looking to avoid a repeat of its poor performance at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nikolai Kulemin of the Toronto Maple Leafs were among 15 NHL players named Tuesday to Russia’s 25-man roster.
Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche’s Semyon Varlamov and Alexander Yeryomenko of the KHL’s Dinamo Moscow will contend for the starting goaltender spot.
Edmonton defenseman Anton Belov, Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings and two Montreal Canadiens defensemen — Alexei Emelin and Andrei Markov — are also on the list, which includes former NHL players Alexander Radulov and Ilya Kovalchuk.
CANADA: Canada’s 25-man ice hockey squad for the Sochi Winter Olympics is built around key contributors from the team that won gold four years ago in Vancouver.
Sidney Crosby, who scored the game-winning goal over the United States in overtime, is back and likely will be named captain.
Roberto Luongo, who was in net for the completion of the 2010 tournament, could get another chance next month as he’s back on the roster following some tumultuous times.
Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Patrice Bergeron are also among the Vancouver medallists named to the team on Tuesday.
John Tavares and Carey Price lead the group of newcomers, which also includes the injured Steven Stamkos, who is already skating after breaking his right leg in November.
BLACKHAWKS: Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin has surgery Tuesday to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder and will be out 4-5 months.
TEXANS: Houston has fired 16 assistant coaches, including defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, following the recent hiring of coach Bill O’Brien.
Defensive line coach Bill Kollar was the only assistant to keep his job.
Other fired coaches include: Perry Carter (assistant defensive backs), Karl Dorrell (quarterbacks), Dan Hammerschmidt (offensive assistant), Chick Harris (running backs), Reggie Herring (linebackers), Vance Joseph (defensive backs), Bobby King (assistant linebackers), Larry Kirksey (wide receivers), Marc Lubick (assistant wide receivers), Brian Pariani (tight ends), Jim Ryan (assistant offensive line), Matt Schiotz (assistant strength and conditioning), Cedric Smith (strength and conditioning) and Jeff Zgonina (assistant defensive line).
Harris was the last remaining coach who had been with the team since its inception in 2002.
REDSKINS: Jay Gruden will interview with the Washington Redskins on Wednesday, said a person familiar with the team’s coaching search, making the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator the sixth known candidate to meet with general manager Bruce Allen.
INDIANS: Veteran outfielder Jeff Francoeur has agreed to a minor-league contract with Cleveland.
Francoeur, who turns 30 today, will report to spring training camp in Arizona, where he’ll try to win a job on Cleveland’s 25-man roster. A .263 career hitter, Francoeur nearly signed with the Indians four years ago.
ROYALS: Former All-Star catcher Ramon Hernandez has agreed to a minor league contract with Kansas City.
The 37-year-old is a career .263 hitter in 15 seasons in the major leagues. His 757 RBIs since the start of the 1999 season are fifth among major league catchers during that span, and his 169 homers are seventh-most among big league catchers.
HOLYFIELD REPRIMANDED: Former world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield has been reprimanded by the bosses of a British reality TV show for saying being gay “ain’t normal.”
Holyfield compared being homosexual to being born with a deformed leg, saying “you go to a doctor and get it fixed back right.” He also said it was “a choice” to be gay.