One of the big concerns for fans of the Detroit Red Wings has been the future of forward Pavel Datsyuk , and perhaps more accurately, his 7.5 million dollar cap hit next season.
There's some good news for those fans, as it now appears that in either scenario the Red Wings will come out looking pretty good, either Datsyuk will return to play, or he will leave the Red Wings with a valuable trading chip if he does indeed choose to depart to the KHL as many believe he will.
According to a report from TSN's Frank Seravalli, if Datsyuk were to leave the NHL the Red Wings could suspended him indefinitely for breech of contract, and as a result would not owe him the $5.5 million on his contract. The Red Wings would still be on the $7.5 million cap hit that comes with his contract, and a $7.5 million cap hit that comes at no actual cost is very valuable to some teams looking to hit the floor.
But if Datsyuk does not report for training camp, the Red Wings (or any team which acquires him) can suspend him for breach of contract, two NHL cap managers confirmed on Friday. That team would then not be responsible for paying him any of the $5.5 million due to him in actual cash.
No team, including the Red Wings, would owe him a dollar. Datsyuk’s $7.5 million salary-cap hit, a paper penalty in theory, could prove valuable to a small-market team struggling to hit the cap floor or spending minimum.
The Red Wings appear like they will be just fine, no matter what Datsyuk decides.