About a week since reports surfaced denying that Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk had signed with a Russian club in the Kontinental Hockey League, more sources of surfaced saying that the president of SKA St. Petersburg is in talks with the Russian play maker.
Igor Eronko, a writer with Sport-Express is reporting that the SKA team is in talks with Datsyuk over possibly coming to the KHL for the 2016-17 season.
“We’re in talks with him,” writes Eronko quoting the team’s president. “I think we have a good chance to sign him.”
Talks heated up again regarding Datsyuk leaving the Red Wings after it was reported that the Detroit forward had hinted at the probable move back to Russia following the end of the 2015-16 regular season.
While news surrounding the move has been at a relative stalemate for the past few weeks, there are still a number of people in the hockey world who believe that Datsyuk played his last NHL game when Detroit was knocked out of the playoffs.
In 66 games for the Red Wings in 2015-16, the Russian forward scored 16 goals and 49 points adding no points in their five playoff games. Over his career with Detroit, he’s racked up 918 points (314g-604a) in 953 regular season games.
While there has been some animosity directed at the 37-year-old regarding his possible departure, it’s been made clear by the player and his agent that the decision is purely based on spending more time with family back home.
If, in fact, it is the end of his NHL career, Datsyuk will finish eighth in franchise history in games played (953), seventh in goals (314), fifth in assists (604) and sixth in points (918) during the regular season.
He also won four straight Lady Byng Memorial Trophies as a member of the Red Wings and three straight Selke Trophies from 2007-2010. He’s also a two-time Stanley Cup winner (2002 and 2008) and will likely find himself in the Hockey Hall of Fame before it’s all said and done.