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Datsyuk’s agent refutes reports of KHL agreement

May 24, 2013, 12:40 PM EST

Pavel Datsyuk AP

Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk has decided where he wants to play when his NHL contract expires after next season.

He’s just not making that decision public.

Also: Via Yahoo!’s Dmitry Chesnokov, Datsyuk’s agent, Gary Greenstin, told SovSport.ru that, despite Russian media reports, the 34-year-old winger had not reached an agreement with Ak Bars to join the club for the 2014-15 season.

Because that would be against the rules.

Rumors of Datsyuk returning to Russia to finish his playing career are nothing new. He played for CSKA Moscow during the lockout, and clearly he enjoyed his time in his home country. When the work stoppage ended in January, he professed his desire to stay in the KHL until the end of the season.

Datsyuk has already won two Stanley Cups and made a pile of money in the NHL. And if he chose to play out his career in the KHL, there’s plenty more money to be made over there.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said in March that he has plans to sit down with Datsyuk once the season is done.

“We’ll talk before he goes home sometime in June, but anything beyond that is speculation and rumors,” Holland said. “Nobody’s told me anything. They haven’t told me they’re staying or going. I haven’t asked either. We hope he wants to stay, but I’m certainly aware there’s a professional league in Russia and they pay their players well. Beyond that, I don’t know.”

  1. joeandcambria - May 24, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Well if he’s already made his decision and is going to announce it this Summer, that seems to lean more towards him resigning, since he wouldn’t be allow to sign a KHL contract, and telling everyone he’s going to leave the next summer for the KHL would leave a bad taste in fan’s mouths for that season.

    Really hope he stays in Detroit.

  2. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    If 35 year old Pavel Datsyuk wants to go back home after next season, what can I say? He’s done enough for the franchise, he’s earned the right to go back home be rich and play a couple more years. One more cup would be nice though.

    • valoisvipers - May 24, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Agreed he has paid his dues and is in the position to do what he wants. The thing is, Detroit is such a tight knit family from owners down to stick boys that leaving them is a hard thing to do. Pavel consistently amazes me with the things he can do that others can’t even dream up of trying to do. I sure hope he stays in the NHL so we can enjoy his talents for a few more years but if he goes back to the Motherland I wish him nothing but the best and I would be grateful for the games I have seen him play.

  3. hsnepsts - May 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I can understand Swedes and Danes wanting to move home after their careers – but Russians? You ever been there?

    • joeandcambria - May 24, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      His daughter is there. He just went through a divorce and wants to be with her, not to mention play in front of his family who have been in Russia and haven’t been over here to see him play.

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 24, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Russia is probably great if you’re…
      – Russian
      – Rich
      – And a great hockey player

    • girouxed - May 24, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      Have you ever been there?

    • jcmeyer10 - May 24, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Seriously, he would be the Crosby of the KHL in terms of respect and salary. Didn’t know about the divorce but he has certainly paid his dues to the Red Wings and the NHL.

      Let the man ride off into the sunset on his terms.

      • paperkid96 - May 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM

        Don’t you mean he would be the Datsyuk of KHL?

  4. dtownbeatdown - May 24, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    As a Detroit fan, I have been extremely spoiled being able to watch Dats the past decade. Do I want him to leave… hell no. Do I understand why if he does… absolutely. He has a lot of pride in his country, just as most of us Americans do in ours. Why not share the wealth of this guys amazing talent, that for so long has been undermined and under appreciated by the NHL (Just in my opinion). I have never seen such an unselfish player, a two way player at that, with the skills and ability he has. Just because he does not have the points say Crosby has, I find him to be just as if not more talented, and a hell of a lot more fun to watch. (Again my opinion, don’t get your panties in a bunch Crosby lovers.) He makes his whole team better. If or when he goes, I will miss him.

  5. neilbarne - May 24, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Given that the Wings are most Swedes…wouldn’t it be interesting if Datsyuk leaves after next year and the Sedin twins come over from Vancouver as free agents?

    • wingsdjy - May 24, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      Gah! No!

    • jcmeyer10 - May 24, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Yah, regular season points titles sure are better than a Stanley Cup!

  6. girouxed - May 24, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    I’d rather see him leave Detroit and play for another great team.. if they don’t win it this year I think he’ll just kind of fizzle out there… which would be sad

  7. spochiefsfan - May 24, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Would definitely be a shame to see him go. I’ll definitely miss those “Datsyukian” dekes!!

  8. mizbinboston - May 24, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    I think the general consensus among us Detroit fans is that yes, he will go back, and yes, we completely understand. I’m insanely excited for the Eastern Conference exposure we’ll get next year (his last year)–most of the Eastern Conference fans have never seen Dats play on a regular basis.

    It’s a reverse Larionov situation. I wish there was more footage of The Professor playing in his early days. But we got Datsyuk in his early days, so I guess it all evens out in the end.

    I’ve never had a favorite KHL team but it’s going to be whatever team Datsyuk’s playing for.

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