According to reports, the Detroit Red Wings are expected to make an announcement tomorrow regarding Pavel Datsyuk’s future with the team. Unfortunately for the Red Wings and their fans, it isn’t the decision they were hoping for.
Expect Detroit Red Wings to make announcement tomorrow along with Pavel Datsyuk confirming he will not be returning next year.
— Aaron Ward (@NHL_AaronWard) June 17, 2016
Datsyuk seemingly confirmed in April that he’d be leaving the NHL to play in Russia, citing family reasons for his decision. Recently, rumors also surfaced that he had been in talks with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL but they were denied by his agent. With little indication of whether or not those talks did happen, it’s almost certain at this point he has played his last game in the NHL.
Aside from being tasked with replacing Datsyuk, the Wings will also face the challenge of building around his $7.5 million cap hit, which will remain on the books for next season with or without him staying. They will explore the option of trading his contract to a team looking for help in hitting the cap floor but there are no guarantees they can find a suitor.
Datsyuk will end his NHL career with 953 games-played. He scored 314 goals and tallied 918 total points throughout that span. Nicknamed ‘the Magician’, the NHL will lose one of its most exciting players to watch if this announcement is as expected.