Pavel Datsyuk Still Unsure on Future
Pavel Datsyuk has been on the radar for every Detroit Red Wings fan since saying he would leave the team after the playoffs this season. Datsyuk went back on his comment, saying he wasn’t 100% sure about the decision. Then the Red Wings were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning and everyone was asking if it was going to happen. There still wasn’t a decision, but the Red Wings did give him a signed jersey by everyone on the team when he left, implying he wouldn’t be back with the team. While cleaning out his locker for possibly the final time, Datysuk said he would make his decision after playing in the 2016 IIHF Men’s World Championship, which ended last Sunday.
Pavel Datsyuk already signed a deal?
While in Russia for the championship, there were rumors of Datysuk already signing a two year deal with the St. Petersburg CSKA in the KHL. Those rumors turned out to be false, Datysuk’s agent Dan Milstein said the report was inaccurate, and that Datsyuk hasn’t talked to any team, media or anybody. Now this could be true, Datsyuk could have been just in Russia to play and not discuss what he was doing and where he would be playing. This could also be a lie. Datsyuk could have already made his mind up, found a team he wanted to play for and signed a deal. Would Datsyuk do this? It seems very unlikely of him to do something like this, Datsyuk is a class act, but you never know until the time comes. If he announces his retirement from the NHL and that he is going to the KHL and he plays with St. Petersburg CSKA on a two year deal, then we all know that the agent lied about the entire situation.
According to his agent, Datsyuk will make his decision to play one more year in Detroit or to go for the KHL between June 6-16. One reason why he wants to return to Russia is to be closer to his teenage daughter. His agent did have something interesting to say though, saying “He would like to leave, but at the same time, he wants to make sure the Wings have options. He wants to help the team any way he can with the salary cap issue.” We have to wonder what this could mean. Does this mean he is willing to help the salary cap issue by possibly playing? Detroit could trade Datsyuk to a team, but that team will know that he won’t play for them and will leave for the KHL. Detroit will have to offer him and players who will actually play in 2016 to a team who can afford to take Datsyuk’s salary cap hit, which looks to Arizona and Carolina for possible locations.
Datsyuk will meet with GM Ken Holland within the next few weeks about his decision and the team has their organizational meetings in mid-June, so knowing if Datysuk will be back or not would be big information to know during those meetings. For now Red Wings fans, all I can tell you is to hold on and wait. While the writing is pretty much on the wall, just like another big Detroit athlete in Calvin Johnson and what happened to him before announcing his retirement, it will end all doubt and questions once the decision has been made public.
| Brandon Knapp covers the NHL and Detroit Red Wings for MyFantasySportsTalk.com |