Pavel Datsyuk has been offered a contract by SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League, but he has not agreed to any terms or agreed to play hockey in Russia next season. That’s the latest word from his agent Dan Milstein.
There were reports earlier Wednesday that suggested Datsyuk was going to join SKA St. Petersburg, with the chairman of the KHL’s board of directors Gennady Timchenko suggesting that he’d signed a contract for two years.
Milstein says that Datsyuk is currently in Russia and he’s going on a two-week family vacation, with intentions on returning to the United States mid-June to meet with Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.
Datsyuk still has a year left on his contract with the Red Wings. If he retires or elects to play in Russia, the Red Wings will be hit with his salary cap charge for the 2016-2017 season. Detroit could trade him to another team with designs on absorbing his salary.
According to Milstein, Datsyuk wants to do things the right way by the Red Wings. He “would like to leave, but at the same time, he wants to make sure the Wings have options. He wants to help the team any way he can with the salary cap issue.”
Back in April, Datsyuk told the Detroit Free Press that he’d made up his mind – for the most part.
“I’m thinking I go home after this season,” he said. “I may not be done with hockey, but – it is hard to say – I think I am done playing in NHL.”
Datsyuk later walked it back a little, noting that he wasn’t sure. After his Red Wings were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs, he said he needed some time to think it over.
In 66 games with the Red Wings last season, the 37-year-old from Sverdlovsk put up 49 points – including 16 goals. In 953 career games with Detroit, he has 314 goals and 604 assists for a total of 918 points.