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Pavel Datsyuk is sad about returning to the NHL?

Jan 12, 2013, 11:55 AM EDT

Pavel Datsyuk, Andrei Taratukhin AP

Ilya Kovalchuk‘s awkward stand-off with the New Jersey Devils in the wake of the lockout ending has many in the Garden State feeling perplexed. While he and Pavel Datsyuk will be participating in the KHL All-Star Game tomorrow, they both can’t be of the same mind about leaving Russia… Can they?

According to a story on, Datsyuk is feeling sad about departing the KHL to come back to the NHL in his own way.

“I’d be delighted to stay here in Russia and play the season to the end. There’s just enormous desire,” he said at the All-Star weekend. “But unfortunately, our desires don’t always match our abilities,” he added, referring to his NHL contract obligations.

All right, so both Kovalchuk and Datsyuk are coming back to the NHL without raising too much of a stink but quotes like these won’t sit well with some fans.

Before some of you get ready to run them off, look at it from their perspective. They got to play pro hockey at home in front of their own country’s fans. The one thing Datsyuk is doing a bit differently from Kovalchuk, however, is he’s making his feelings known without making his NHL fans anxious.

Meanwhile, he was doing stuff like this during the KHL skills competition today. Sorry Russia, we’ll be happy to have him back here.

  1. stakex - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    In reality, the fans shouldn’t read too much into this. Its understandable why these guys have a desire to stay and finish the season in Russia. Its not like they were there for a couple weeks… they spend more then half the season on these teams, and would like to see it through to the end. Its a compedative thing. Of course they can’t stay, but its only natural for a competitor to want to stay and finish what he started.

    I’m sure once these guys are back in the NHL and the season is underway, they will have forgotten all about Russia in short order.

  2. blkhwk21 - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I’d be sad if I had to go to Detroit as well!! Lets Go Hawks!!

  3. qpla - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    You always have to take these Russian news with a grain of salt. What did you think Pavel was going to tell them? That the KHL sucks and he wants to leave ASAP?

  4. steelers88 - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    I don’t blame him I would want to play in my home country too.

  5. danphipps01 - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Why is it every time a player says he’d rather play in his home country, or is sad to leave it, or whatever else, NHL fans and writers feel the need to microanalyze it? Like you wouldn’t have regrets leaving your friends, family, and new teammates. Even if you’ve made a happy life elsewhere, home is home.

  6. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Woah. His comments, not a big deal. Those shootout goals on the other hand…

    • danphipps01 - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Right? And here I thought that one last week was impressive. Go figure, he goes and one-ups himself at the skills comp. Freaking wizard, that man is.

  7. blkhwk21 - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    He must really hate Detroit. So sad..Red Wing fans should be embarrassed. I would take this serious- this is a key player who has been performing adequate in a below average league. Where will his heart be? The passion flame is burning out on this one. (Daydreaming by a Blackhawks fan). It means nothing- just funny how quick everyone is to justify what HE feels. This is going to be a fun drama filled 48 games!!

    • ghouchens - Jan 12, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      Yeah, he is really sad that he isn’t playing for the Blackhawks (sarcasm intended). Don’t worry, you will be able to see him score in Chicago…..

  8. nyrnashty - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Honestly I don’t care about the article. I just watched that video lol.

  9. hockinj25 - Jan 12, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    I’m sure the translation from Russian to English changed the meaning of what he said a little.

  10. deadrabbit79 - Jan 12, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    I for one do not understand. They all were fully aware that they could go over there play for a while and then have to come back to the NHL when/if the lockout was over. Its as if they wish the lockout didnt end. Let them stay! But teams should have the ability to suspend them without pay or void their contracts. Let them stay over there and earn their Rubels and enjoy the wonderful air travel over there.

    • kitshky - Jan 12, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Yaaa ..eff those guys! How dare humans express affection for their homeland, family, and friends!!

      Assholes! They knew they had to come back at some point … who do they think they are answering questions like normal people with normal feelings!?

  11. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Athlete being classy and a professional and Yerdon tries to troll it into more than that, sad

  12. Jeff - Jan 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Look I’m sure Dats and Kovy became good friends with fellow Russians while playing in the KHL. I hold them no ill will. Yet once again the NHL, NHLPA dispute shouldn’t have gone in as long as it did, which gave them the opportunity to play in the KHL in the first place.

  13. eastcoastwingette - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Seriously? Datsyuk actually asked the Wings organization if he could stay and play in the All-Star game and they gave him the go-ahead. His daughter & family are in Russia–why the h ell wouldn’t he want to play in front of them? He’s also pretty involved in youth/Russian Federation Hockey which is insanely, insanely corrupt. (Fetisov’s a great man, but there’s probably only so much he can do.)
    As blkhwk21–who, I’m will to bet, has never actually set foot in Detroit (how are those police/high school shootings going, buddy? You seemed to be having a pretty big problem with that when I lived in your town for a year)–so eloquently pointed out, Detroit is not exactly a hot spot. In fact, the state of Michigan as a whole doesn’t have a lot going for it. Which is why so much stock is put into their athletes and so much is expected of athletes on and off the ice/field.
    You want to stay out partying all night, get free stuff, be a celebrity… Fine. But if you want to play and you want respect, you come to Detroit. No glitz, no glamour. It’s all heart and pride.
    So let’s stop throwing Pavel under the bus for being anything less than honest. The man’s truthful, an incredible player, and conducts himself as a great human being both on and off the ice. Who could ask for anything more?

  14. 11cups - Jan 14, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    I think the biggest decision for Pavel was the language barrier. In 10+ years, with English classes included, he never really got, or wanted to get the English language. English isn’t the easiest languages to learn, especially if you don’t really care to. Then you have the whole home pride issue. I’m from Detroit, and a huge fan that has researched Datsyuk a lot, and IMO this is the majority of his not wanting. Imagine if they shipped you to Russia, you had a hard time picking up the language, went back and played with a bunch of your friends for half a season, and then. What would you “want” to do? Give him some credit for feeling an obligation to come back.

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