It’s never fun to see legends hang up the skates. It brings an end to generations of hockey, as well as countless moments caught on the ice that storyline the game as we know it. This summer, the NHL will most likely be losing a stick handling wizard, as well as a classic contender in Pavel Datsyuk.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion, Selke winner, four time Lady Byng winner, and Hart Trophy winner has a different state of mind for the 2016-17′ season. Weeks ago, the ‘Magic Man’ told reporters that he’s insisting on moving back to Russia, where he has a teenage daughter, in which we wants to spend more time with.
Many Red Wings fans can’t think about life without Datsyuk, as he’s been a fan favorite since debuting on the team in 1998. The 314 goal scorer sits just 42 points away from 1,000, and 47 games away from 1,000 played. He had 49 points (16G, 33A) in 2015-16′, and didn’t dissapoint fans with his whimsical hands.
With the 37 year old leaving, the Wings wouldn’t have to hand over the $5.5M he is owed, but they would still have to spit up a $7.5M cap hit from his three year deal. This would leave a scar on the Wings wallet, and would result in a lot of lost potential talent on their roster for a replacement.
To relief of fans, the forward announced to reporters that he will make the final decision after the World Cup Of Hockey this September. I guess fans can start blasting the classic Green Day song; Wake Me Up When September Ends to prepare themselves.
There’s a glimpse of hope that he’ll return this fall, but it’s not likely. Patience is required in this long process of the waiting game, and it’s going to hurt a little more if he makes a decision that will alter NHL hockey as we know it.