Fans can't be blamed for initially feeling hurt when longtime Red Wings' forward Pavel Datsyuk made the decision to leave the team and the National Hockey League altogether to return home to Russia. Once the motivation for his departure was revealed however, his longing to be closer to his teenage daughter, it was also hard not to empathize with talented forward.
This week Datsyuk spoke to NHL.com's Tom Gulitti in advance of the World Cup of Hockey tournament in which Datsyuk will participate, and by his own account he is content with the decision he made this summer.
"It's home, so it's been unbelievable," Datsyuk said. "It's part of my life now."
It appears to have impacted his play on the ice as well, Datsyuk has put up an impressive four goals and three assists in just six games since joining the KHL's SKA St. Petersberg, and knowing that the Russian superstar is happy will likely bring a degree of comfort to his fans in Detroit.
Fans can still watch him play at the World Cup however which will take place in Toronto just a few short days from now, something Datsyuk says he is very much looking forward to.
"It's going to be a good tournament," Datsyuk said. "There are lots of good teams and it's a good level [of play]. It's good for hockey players, for the fans and for everybody."