STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 13: Pavel Datsyuk of Russia looks on during the IIHF World Championship group S match between Russia and Czech Republic at Ericsson Globe on May 13, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MLive's Ansar Khan reports today on the status of the Red Wings' Russian star Pavel Datsyuk in the wake of yesterday's news hinting that Evgeni Malkin has a deal in place to join the KHL in the event of an NHL lockout. Khan gathers information from Sovsport and from Gary Greenstin, Datsyuk's agent.
Both Datsyuk and Greenstin are playing it kind of close to the vest, but it's not too hard to figure out what's going on. Pavel told Sovsport that it's too early to commit to anything, but if he does end up in the KHL, he'd like to compete for a championship.
Meanwhile, Greenstin is slightly more obvious with his statement to MLive:
Datsyuk's agent, Gary Greenstin, told M-Live.com that the star forward "will have to play somewhere'' if there is a lockout and said he has a plan in place for him. But Greenstin said he wasn't prepared to share any details until Sept. 15, saying he hopes a new CBA is in place by then.
Datsyuk, who played in the KHL during the 2004-05 lockout has been in Russia most of the summer and has been very active in the hockey community there. Khan reports he's been practicing with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, which is based in his home town. Of course, with a non-compete agreement in place between the NHL and KHL, any contract Datsyuk signs with the KHL will very likely involve a clause which allows him to leave the Russian league and return to the NHL when the Red Wings are ready to start their season.
Let's hope it doesn't even get to that.