Former Detroit Red Wings forward and perennial KHL superstar Pavel Datsyuk is considering retirement. The 42 year old forward took to social media to share a message with his fans earlier today announcing that he'll make a decision on his player future at the end of August.
I want to be honest with you and do not disappoint your expectations!
I have a difficult choice to make - what to do next.
I really want to continue to help my home team Avtomobilist as a player. But at the same time I ask myself: 'Will I be ready to play another full season? Will my body let me do it?
Together with the coaching staff we have made a decision about my individual preparation plan for the 2021-22 season. At the end of August I will understand if I can continue my career and again go out on the ice in red jersey of Avtomobilist in front of hometown fans.
In other words, Datsyuk doesn't yet know what he's going to do in 2021-22... but don't count on an NHL return. Which, frankly, is kind of disappointing. It seems like every offseason for the past three or four years there's been some speculation that Datsyuk would return to the NHL for one last kick at the can. But, at 42 years old and with the Red Wings still in the basement of the NHL, I can see why it's not in consideration for Datsyuk anymore. As a hockey fan though and as someone who has marvelled at the things Datsyuk can do with the puck on his stick... well this sucks. I don't exactly follow the KHL closely, so I don't expect I'll see much more of Datsyuk even if he does elect to play this upcoming season.
If this is indeed the end for Datsyuk, he'll end his pro career with 314 goals and 918 points in 953 career regular season NHL games. He also put up 60 goals and 204 points in 260 regular season KHL games split between Avtomobilist, CSKA Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg. Mostly though, he'll be remember for absolutely twisting up his opponents with his incredible puck handling ability.