It’s official. Former Red Wing veteran center Pavel Datsyuk has signed a two-year contract in the KHL with HC SKA. The contract is reportedly worth $7.6 million total:
If you’ve been living under a rock, Pavel Datsyuk made the decision to retire from the NHL, and move back home to Russia for family reasons. The Red Wings managed to move his dead-money contract at the 2016 NHL Draft with the 16th overall pick to the Arizona Coyotes for Joe Vitale, 20th overall, and 53rd overall. Since Datsyuk’s rights were technically owned by the Arizona Coyotes, Pavel could not officially sign until the transfer card was received from his NHL club.
I hate goodbyes, but it’s done and over with. The Red Wings moved Pavel’s $7.5 million cap hit in hope to make a strong push for Steven Stamkos, but fell short when he signed his eight-year deal with Tampa. The Red Wings ended up signing forwards Frans Nielsen, Thomas Vanek, and Steve Ott with the cap relief, and are working on getting restricted free agents Danny DeKeyser, and Petr Mrazek extended.
Farewell, Pavel. Enjoy the Motherland.