Tha Sports Junkies 101

Report: Datsyuk likely to sign with SKA St. Petersburg

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As the NHL season winded down, reports came out Detroit saying that long time Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk would be leaving the team and the NHL during the off season to play in the KHL. While he never confirmed he was heading to Russia to play, Datsyuk announced after the regular season concluded that this past season was his last in the NHL, but added that he was not done playing hockey, just done playing in the NHL, leaving many to wonder if he was indeed heading to the KHL.

Multiple reports out of Russia today announced that Datsyuk has received multiple offers from clubs in the KHL, including SKA St. Petersburg, who he is expected to sign a 2 year deal with at some point in the near future. Gennady Timchenko, chairman of the KHL’s board of directors, told reporters today that Datsyuk will join SKA, who is also looking to add NHL forwards Viktor Tikhonov and Sergei Plotinov, who are both in the Arizona Coyotes organization. It is not known when Datsyuk will make his decision official, but he is reportedly supposed to meet with Red Wings GM Ken Holland in June to discuss his plans.

For the Red Wings, Datsyuk’s $7.5 million cap hit will still go against the team whether he is playing for the team or not, so losing him is a huge blow financially, as well as on the ice. The Red Wings could look to trade his contract to a team who is looking to meet the salary cap floor, but it isn’t a guarantee that they will be able to find a trade partner to take on the 37 year old’s remaining salary.

Datsyuk, who just finished his 14th season with the Detroit Red Wings, has enjoyed a very successful career in the NHL, winning 2 Stanley Cups, 4 Lady Byng awards, and 3 Selke trophies. He finished his career with 8 20+ goal seasons and 10 50+ point season. Known as one of the top defensive forwards, Datsyuk will no doubt enter the Hall of Fame as one of the top players to ever play in the league.