Pavel Datsyuk gave a lengthy interview to Igor Eronko of Sport-Express on Thursday, in which he shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects including his former coach Mike Babcock, the Detroit Red Wings missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years, and more.

Datsyuk broke into the NHL in the 2001-02 season, winning a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings under Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman.

Babcock, now with the Toronto Maple Leafs, took over the Detroit bench after the 2004-05 lockout, and made his mark on the young Russian – helping him become the two-way force for which he became known.

“He gave me a lot. Asked me to concentrate on defence,” said Datsyuk, whose interview was translated into English by The Malik Report. “Made me more of a defensive forward. Especially closer to the end of my career.

“But in general every coach added something. Bowman, on the other hand, allowed me to play my game and improvise. Even though I was so young.”

The Red Wings never missed the playoffs throughout Dastyuk’s entire NHL career, and in their first season without him, the team failed to qualify for the post-season, ending a 25-year run.