Former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk pondering a return to the NHL

Embed from Getty Images Pavel Datsyuk, who turns 41 on July 31, left the Detroit Red Wings in 2016 with one year remaining on his contract.  agent Dan Milstein, said “He would never under any circumstances consider any other club but the Detroit Red Wings. He was very clear about that when he was leaving (Detroit) and through the conversations, it would be Detroit or nothing.”

Datsyuk, or as Detroit Red Wings fans call him “magic man.” When Datsyuk began his NHL career for the Red Wings, his mentors including Soviet stars Igor Larionov and Sergei Fedorov, as well as Detroit captain Steve Yzerman .

Pavel, was a goal and points machine as well as playing outstanding defense.  On 14 February 2016, Datsyuk became the sixth Red Wing player to reach the 900 point milestone, and the fifth Russian player to do so.

On 18 June 2016, Datsyuk announced that he was leaving the Red Wings to play in Russia, ending his 14-year career with the Detroit Red Wings. He left the Red Wings having won two Stanley Cups (In 2002 and 2008), four consecutive Lady Byng trophies (2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009), 953 games played, and 918 points. Datsyuk, upon leaving, was also the last remaining member of the Detroit Red Wings 2002 Stanley Cup Championship team.

On 8 July 2016, Datsyuk signed a two-year contract with SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL. With that contract set to expire in July, Datsyuk is eyeing a return to both the NHL and the Detroit Red Wings. At 40 years old he is still a point per game player.

It is unclear at this time  if new Red Wings  general manager Steve Yzerman is interested, but he wouldn’t be allowed to comment publicly. With Thomas Vanek a free agent in July and a player who does not figure in the Red Wings plans, perhaps Yzerman would bring in Datsyuk on a two year deal to be the team veteran as far as the forwards go.

Pavel Datsyuk’s agent took it a step further saying “Pavel obviously respects (Yzerman) so much, “He was one of the first guys to ask me to send him a note on his behalf to congratulate him after he got the job in Detroit, but I haven’t had any business conversations since Steve took over the Detroit Red Wings.

It will be interesting to monitor this heading into the summer.


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