Red Wings GM addresses rumors of Pavel Datsyuk's defection.


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Ken Holland is trying to play it cool, even as the prospect of losing one of his best players is a hot-button topic right now.

According to Saturday's report from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, Datsyuk may head for the KHL for family reasons, forgoing the final season of his contract, which pays "The Magic Man" $5.5 million and leaves Detroit on the hook for $7.5 million against salary cap.

On Saturday night, the Detroit Red Wings' general manager addressed the report, and tried to downplay the rumor.

"I haven't talked to Pavel," Holland said, according to The Detroit News' Ted Kulfan. "He has a year to go (on his contract). Are the rumors news to me? I hear a lot of rumors.

"I'll sit down with all of our players at the end of the year, one by one, and talk to them all."

The two-time Stanley Cup champion and three-time Selke Trophy winner has recorded 16 goals and 31 assists in 62 games, and remains a key piece of the puzzle for the Red Wings.

With 916 points in 949 games with the Red Wings, he ranks sixth on the team's all-time scoring list. He has never been with any other team than Detroit since entering the NHL in 2001.

Images Courtesy of Keystone Press