Despite the fact that many believed his hockey career was over years ago, former National Hockey League star forward Pavel Datsyuk has decided to lace up his skates for at least one more season. According to a report from player agent Dan Milstein, the man currently representing Datsyuk, the veteran forward has signed a one year contract with his hometown team of Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in the Kontinental Hockey League. This will mark Datsyuk's second season with the team and it will be his 5th consecutive season in the KHL after having previously played 3 seasons with SKA St. Petersburg.
Datsyuk has shrugged off whispers of retirement for years now after officially retiring from the National Hockey League after the 2015 - 2016 regular season and the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was a sad moment for the Detroit Red Wings faithful and many fans from around the league who had come to respect Datsyuk for his dazzling displays of skill that earned him the moniker of Magic Man, in large part due to the fact that it was clear Datsyuk still had gas left in the tank. The blow was softened of course by the knowledge that the Russian born Datsyuk was heading back closer to home to be with his young daughter, but I know I will always wonder what could have been had Datsyuk continued his career in the NHL.
In his most recent season with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg he appeared in 43 games, recording 5 goals and 17 assists for a combined 22 points and finished the season with a solid plus minus rating of +12. No word yet on whether or not Datsyuk plans to play beyond this season, but even at 41 years of age I would not count him out just yet.