30 Thoughts from Elliote Friedman: More on Pavel Datsyuk, possibility NHL bars him from signing in KHL

Elliote Friedman provided the initial report about Pavel Datsyuk's return to Russia as early as next season. Today, he riffed on the story a little more, and provided some additional insight as to what could happen between the two parties. He also spoke about how Datsyuk leaving for Russia could get the NHL involved:

Expect a large ovation for Pavel Datsyuk on Wednesday, as the Red Wings play their final home game of the regular season, a titanic matchup against Philadelphia. Datsyuk is considering the possibility of a return to Russia for next season, one year earlier than expected. Nothing would be final until a post-season meeting, and it would not be a surprise if Detroit offers him an extra year’s contract as an incentive to stay. If he does leave, the Red Wings’ cap situation could be alleviated if someone is willing to take his salary to get to the floor. (He’s to earn $5.5M in actual cash next season.) That’s a bigger number than we’ve seen so far, as Chris Pronger ($575,000 this year and next in Arizona) and Marc Savard (same situation in Florida) are much lower on the pay scale. But, we’ve all learned to expect the unexpected. Failing that, the Red Wings and/or the NHL could block Datsyuk from playing in Russia if they wanted.

Read more from Friedman's 30 Thoughts here.

This is interesting. Friedman states that Detroit could try to offer Datsyuk a one-year contract extension to sway him into staying in the States. I'm not sure how this really makes sense seeing that if he actually wants to leave, his mind is already made up. In Friedman's initial report on Hockey Night in Canada, he explicitly said that Datsyuk wanted to return to Russia for family reasons. Something here doesn't exactly add up.

You can read the full transcript from what Friedman said here.

However, Friedman also highlighted the possibility of the NHL/Detroit barring Datsyuk from playing in the KHL. To elaborate on that a little, the IIHF would likely come down hard on the KHL, and the league would have no choice but to comply.

More from the HNIC broadcast: