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Red Wings veteran Pavel Datsyuk Announces his return to Russia

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Detroit Red Wings v Dallas Stars - Game Six Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The day has come, the announcement is here. After two months worth of agony in the city of Detroit, Red Wings fans now know what is to come of The Magic Man, Pavel Datsyuk. He’s officially done after 14 seasons in the NHL. 953 games, 314 goals, and 604 assists. Two Stanley Cup championship rings, four Lady Byng trophies, and three Selke awards.

The entire process was drawn out a little longer than it needed to be, but there was good reason. With the World Championships, a two-week family vacation, and the recent passing of Red Wings legend Gordie Howe, we’ve had to sit and act like we were waiting patiently.

We all know what's at hand now - Ken Holland will need to finalize a decision on what will come of Pavel’s $7.5 million-worth of dead money. There are a few rumored teams who could assume the cap hit to get above the cap floor, but it will likely cost the Red Wings an additional asset(s). Teams in the mix are rumored to be Carolina, and Arizona. While there is nothing concrete, it’s hard to imagine that the club is willing to assume the dead money out of respect. With the Steven Stamkos sweepstakes on the horizon, if the Red Wings intend on making a splash this summer, Pavel’s contract will need to be traded.

I’ve been preparing for this since the last game against Tampa, and, well, it still stings like a son-of-a-you-know-what. For many of us, Pavel was our favorite player. He did things no other player could do. At his height, he was one of the most dangerous players to play against - A lethal blend of both defense and offense. To say that he will be missed would be a massive understatement.