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Datsyuk to retire in the NHL and head back to Russia after playoffs


Odd.

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DETROIT - Detroit Red Wings centre Pavel Datsyuk is expected to retire from the NHL after the playoffs.

Dan Milstein, his agent, confirmed Datsyuk's decision.

Datsyuk discussed his plans for the first time in an interview with the Detroit Free Press published Sunday.

"I'm thinking I go home after this season," he told the newspaper. "I may not be done with hockey, but — it is hard to say — I think I am done playing in NHL."

Datsyuk wants to return to Russia to reunite with his teenage daughter and to play in the Kontinental Hockey League for at least one season.

Milstein said Datsyuk's plans will not be final, though, until after the post-season when he meets with Red Wings general manager Ken Holland along with owners Mike and Marian Ilitch.

"It's not over until it's over, but it is Pavel's desire to go back to Russia," Milstein said.

Holland said in a text message that he'd have no comment until after the season.

The 37-year-old Datsyuk has one season left on his three-year, $22.5 million contract.

He will count $7.5 million against Detroit's salary cap next season even if he leaves, a big hit for a team that barely earned a spot in the playoffs.

"I feel very bad about it," Datsyuk told the paper.

Milstein said Datsyuk plans to express his appreciation to his fans in the Detroit area by hosting a hockey camp for kids in late June as he has for the past 10 years in Russia.

Datsyuk helped the Red Wings extend their post-season streak to 25 this season, when they finished third in the Atlantic Division. They will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs.

Datsyuk had 16 goals and 33 assists this season, and his 49 points were one shy of Henrik Zetterberg's team-leading total. In the regular season, he has 314 goals and 918 points in his career. In 152 playoff games, he has 113 points.

Detroit drafted Datsyuk in the sixth round, 171st overall, in 1998. He made his NHL debut during the 2001-02 season and showed right away he was a steal.

He helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2002 as a rookie and was one of the franchise's stars when it won the Cup again in 2008. As one of the game's all-time great defensive forwards, Datsyuk won the Selke Trophy three straight times — one fewer than Bob Gainey's record total — from 2008-10.

Datsyuk is known as the Magic Man for his ability to dangle the puck on his stick, and to take the puck away from opponents, with breathtaking skills he learned as a kid.

"In Russia, we had tough times. Only one puck," Datsyuk has said. "I always wanted the puck, so I learn how to keep it and make space and get puck when other guy has it."

 

http://www.tsn.ca/wings-datsyuk-plans-to-retire-after-playoffs-1.468029

 

Not sure if it's been posted. But anyways, were going to miss you around the NHL. One of the best offensive-defensive foward to ever play the game. Its tough when friends and family live in Russia and you live in America and the only time to visit you're loved ones is during the summer. Now I don't think Detroit is going to win the cup, but hey, they could pull a LA in 2012 and win the cup. That's a bit of a stretch though. 

 

However, his $7.5m cap hit will 'handy cap' Detroit for one more year. Have fun in mother Russia.

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31 minutes ago, Odd. said:

http://www.tsn.ca/wings-datsyuk-plans-to-retire-after-playoffs-1.468029

 

Not sure if it's been posted. But anyways, were going to miss you around the NHL. One of the best offensive-defensive foward to ever play the game. Its tough when friends and family live in Russia and you live in America and the only time to visit you're loved ones is during the summer. Now I don't think Detroit is going to win the cup, but hey, they could pull a LA in 2012 and win the cup. That's a bit of a stretch though. 

 

However, his $7.5m cap hit will 'handy cap' Detroit for one more year. Have fun in mother Russia.

Trade it to toronto for a draft picks.

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Darn. I'm going to miss watching him in this league.

Part of the enjoyment for me when watching Canucks-Wings games was also being able to watch Datsyuk play.

Some of the sickest hands I'd ever seen.

At least now I know who I'm cheering for in the playoffs now. This guy is a class act and deserves to go out on a high-note.

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I don't know anything about his personal life, but him saying he wants to be near his daughter (who I assume lives in Russia) seems like a pretty valid reason for bailing. He said he maybe should have signed a year to year contract instead of the 3 year deal. 

 

Contract be damned, family first. Always. 

 

You're a hell of a player Datsyuk.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My favorite player in the last decade. So much raw talent and was such a unique player I don't think the game will ever see another Datsyuk. He will be sorely missed and I respect his decision. They didn't call him the Magician for nothing.

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