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Report: Pavel Datsyuk signing two-year deal with KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg

According to a report out of Russia, Pavel Datsyuk “agreed” to a two-year deal with Petersburg SKA:

According to sources, 37-year-old hockey player will sign a two-year contract with the St. Petersburg CSKA after the World Cup-2016.

Earlier Datsyuk said that he could leave the NHL, despite the fact that its agreement with “Detroit” will expire only in 2017.

[Pavel] scored on 49 points (16 + 33) in 66 regular season matches held NHL-2015/16.

“Detroit” lost “Tampa” in the series of the first round of the playoffs, allowing Datsyuk to take part in the world championships.


Translation via Google Translate.

After reports stated that Red Wings star veteran center was mulling the idea of leaving the NHL club one year early to spend time with his family in Russia. This would essentially leave the team with his entire $7.5 million cap hit, despite the fact if he retired or not because his extension was signed after he was 35 years old.

If reports are true, it is confirming what we wanted to know earlier than expected. Datsyuk was supposed to meet with Ken Holland after the World Championships to have one final meeting about his future. The organization would then have to “kick tires” on moving his contract to a team that needs to reach the cap floor next season, or they would assume Datsyuk’s dead money, and in the end cripple the team in terms of making any offseason splashes.

I see it as this – Datsyuk either went rogue and signed this contract without talking to the Red Wings, or his camp and Ken Holland spoke without any report of it. If this is a pre-agreement, the Red Wings could certainly try and take some sort of action against it, but the odds of that happening against a franchise legend is very unlikely.

Would the Red Wings pitch a fit over Datsyuk having a handshake agreement before the two parties met? No. Absolutely not. If Detroit tried going after Datsyuk for this, they’d essentially be burning bridges, and shutting the pipeline on a large chuck of hockey talent in Eurasia. Despite whatever might end up happening, Pavel will stay or go on good terms, as he deserves..


From this fan’s perspective, Datsyuk’s agent is doing what’s best for his client in North America. At this point we can trust that Datsyuk is still planning to discuss everything with the Red Wings before any deals are finalized, but I wouldn’t say that Dan Milstein is doing much other than PR here. The interesting thing is that Milstein said “inaccurate” rather than “false,” but it shouldn’t be too much longer before we hear everything from the team and Datsyuk himself. – J.J.

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