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. NFL Week 3: What we learned

    Bucs

    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. Bradenton high school senior Chasten Whitfield inspires young anglers

    Outdoors

    MADEIRA BEACH — The kids lined up single file, snow cones in hand, a procession of sweaty, excited grade schoolers watching Chasten Whitfield throw a cast net.

    Whitfield, a senior at Bradenton Manatee, demonstrates how to throw a cast net at the FishKids tournament in Madeira Beach. She also taught knot tying.
  5. Wreck helps Kyle Busch take control of Monster Cup's ISM 300

    Auto racing

    LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch saw little but billowing white smoke that engulfed the track and blinded enough drivers that it caused a tremendous wreck that notably altered the race running order.

    Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after his third victory of the season that earns a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs. He also has some fun with Loudon the Lobster.