When it is all said and done, Pavel Datsyuk will go down as one of the best of the modern era. But the thing with that is, he will not be having the final years of his career in the NHL. He will be heading back to Russia to be with his family and friends. You can’t blame the guy for that, got to do what you got to do. 14 great seasons in the league for Datsyuk and we got to see them all.
I first remember seeing the Russian superstar play back in 2002, on a line with Brett Hull. Datsyuk and Hull had this chemistry that you would never believe. That season, Datsyuk and the Red Wings would defeat the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Final.
The back to back finals appearances for Datsyuk and the Wings were unreal. Two of the most memorable series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He put up 10 goals and 13 assists in the Cup win, pretty good numbers for “The Magic Man”.
What many forget is how defensively savvy he is. A Selke Award winner at that too. The Datsyuk back check will never cease to put opponents in a tizzy.
He was steadily one of the best scorers in the game. Especially with the silky mitts that he has. Some of his shootout goals are highlight reel starters. Pretty sad that we will never see one of the backhand toe drags by him again.
So that’s that. He heads back to Russia to play in the KHL. Money isn’t a thing over there so it shouldn’t be a problem for him . Does this mean that Steven Stamkos could be on the Red Wing radar? I sure hope so, if he doesn’t stay in Tampa, Detroit could be the next home. But that’s another story for another day.