Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pavel Datsyuk leaves Red Wings; Detroit eyeing Steven Stamkos?

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Pavel Datsyuk delivered the final announcement the Red Wings dreaded — but expected.

And it could be a factor in Steven Stamkos' contract saga.

Datsyuk — one of the NHL's best forwards, nicknamed "Magic Man" for his skill with the puck — said Saturday that he is leaving Detroit with a year left on his deal to return to his native Russia and play in the KHL.

"My family and I are grateful for our time here in Detroit," Datsyuk, 37, said at a news conference. "This was not an easy decision, but it is time for us to return home."

Toward the end of this past season, Datsyuk told the Detroit Free Press he would leave when it was over to return to Russia to be with his teenage daughter from his first marriage and finish his career playing in front of Russian fans. After later waffling, he said Saturday that his final decision came when he was on a recent vacation with his family.

His decision leaves the Red Wings with a headache: How to shed his contract's $7.5 million salary cap hit for next season so the money can be used to pursue a top free agent this summer? Detroit has been rumored to be very interested in making a push for Stamkos if the Lightning center goes to free agency July 1.

"We're in a tough spot," general manager Ken Holland said.

Datsyuk played his whole NHL career with Detroit. Drafted in 1998, he helped it win the Stanley Cup as a rookie in 2002 and again in 2008. In the latter year, he won the first of three straight Selke Trophies as the league's top defensive forward.

Pavel Datsyuk leaves Red Wings; Detroit eyeing Steven Stamkos? 06/18/16 [Last modified: Saturday, June 18, 2016 9:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 1997 USF Bulls: Jay Mize, a 'relentless, fearless' safety and entrepreneur

    College

    USF football alumnus Jay Mize, 39, poses for a portrait at Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery located at 1611 W Swann Avenue in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. Mize, a member of the first USF football team, has evolved into an immensely successful businessman and entrepreneur and he owns the Irish 31 pubs.
  2. Revisiting the inaugural 1997 USF Bulls football roster

    College

    The 1997 USF football team. (University of South Florida, USF Bulls)
  3. 1997 USF Bulls: Charlie Jackson navigates life's speed bumps

    College

    USF wide receiver Charlie Jackson (1) strives for extra yardage as he is brought down from behind by the Citadel's Rob Nichols (29) in the first quarter on Sept. 14, 1997. (Times 1997)
  4. 1997 USF Bulls: Scott McCready trades green and gold for black belts

    College

    USF WR Scott McCready (16) attempts to get past Jacksonville State LB Duriel Hardrick (31) durin a Sept. 2, 2000 game. (Times 2000)
  5. 1997 USF Bulls: Cory Porter regains passion for game 10,000 miles away

    College

    Brian Surcy (25) and Cory Porter (80) celebrate USF's first victory, against Kentucky Wesleyan. (Times 1997)