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Pavel Datsyuk set to retire from NHL after next season

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Pavel Datsyuk turns 36 on July 20th, 2014. That birthday will be celebrated a few months after the last minutes of hockey he'll ever play for the Detroit Red Wings. Next year will be his last in the NHL and that's according to a very reliable source in Detroit, someone close to the organization and entrenched in regional hockey programs.

Why? Datsyuk wants to go home. We all understand that. But according to this source, a guy who skates with at least one recently-retired Red Wing and whose family is a staple in the Michigan hockey world, it's not just the lure of mother Russia.

Datsyuk sees the realignment, knows the kind of nightly abuse he's going to take in the Eastern Conference and wants to "go out like Barry Sanders did." Healthy, in other words. And he wants to give the KHL a few years of brilliance. He wants his home country to see him while he still has magic left.

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