On Friday, it became official as former Detroit Red Wing star Pavel Datsyuk signed a two-year deal with the Kontinental Hockey League’s SKA St. Petersburg.
Datsyuk has officially signed with SKA, as previously mentioned it's a two year deal.
— Aivis Kalniņš (@aiviskalnins) July 8, 2016
It was only a matter of time before Datsyuk signed in the KHL after the 37-year-old announced that he’d be leaving the Red Wings to join his family back home in Russia.
Datsyuk spent all 14 seasons of his NHL career with Detroit amassing 918 points (314g-604a) in 953 career regular season games. Add that to his 113 career playoff points (42g-71a) that he collected in 157 contests and it’s clear how special of a player he was to the Red Wings organization.
Knowing that he was headed to the KHL, the Red Wings and Ken Holland moved Datsyuk’s contract at the draft this season handing the Arizona Coyotes his one remaining year and his $5.75 million cap hit.
He was part of two Stanley Cup winning teams (2002 and 2008) and was named to four All-Star Games over his career (2004, 2008, 2009 and 2012). He won three Frank J. Selke Trophies from 2008 to 2010 as the league’s best defensive forward as well as four straight Lady Byng Trophies as the league’s most gentlemanly player (from 2006 to 2009).
He finishes his NHL career tied for 78th on the all-time assists list with Michel Goulet and a 0.96 point-per-game average.
In 31 career KHL games (with Dynamo Moscow), Datsyuk recorded 36 points (11g-25a).
Datsyuk will be eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019 and will certainly get consideration on his first year of eligibility.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.