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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 rsport.ru, 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.

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