Fans in Hockey Town had high hopes when it was reported last month that legendary Pavel Datsyuk was coming to America and planned on meeting new Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman about a potential return with the team.
The rights of Datsyuk, who will turn 41 in July, are owed by the Arizona Coyotes until this summer. In July, the veteran star player will be an unrestricted free agent and might be interested in giving the NHL another go. Of course, a deal with Detroit would have been unbelievable.
However, the Russian star crushed fans’ hopes for an NHL return when he signed a contract with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg of the KHL, in Datsyuk’s hometown.
Earlier this week, his agent Dan Milstein had noted that there was 90% probability of Datsyuk staying in Russia. The odds were clearing too great for a return to the NHL…
Back in the summer of 2016, Datsyuk announced that he was leaving the Detroit Red Wings, with a year left on his contract, saying it was time to go back home and play in the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League. Datsyuk has spent the last three years playing for SKA Saint Petersburg.
Datsyuk had 49 points, ranking second on the Red Wings, in 66 games during his last regular season in the NHL.
While he was even considering retirement, it seems like a final season in his hometown will be the best way to hang up the skates for the Magic Man.