Reports: Pavel Datsyuk to leave Red Wings, sign with KHL
Pavel Datsyuk is going home. Maybe.
Sources in Russia are reporting that the 37-year-old forward has agreed to a two-year contract with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL in Russia.
Those reports, however, were quickly refuted by Datsyuk's agent, Dan Milstein.
"I know for a fact that Pavel has not discussed a contract while playing for the national team in Russia," Milstein told M-Live's Ansar Khan. "I spoke with him to confirm this again. For a fact we don't have a contract with anybody [else] right now."
According to Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News, Milstein expects to meet with the Red Wings in mid-June to discuss Datsyuk's future with the organization.
"He's coming back to the U.S. [in the] first or second week of June," Milstein said. "We plan on meeting with [Red Wings GM] Ken Holland, not later than the 16th because Pavel will be in town for his camp from the 17th to the 21st."
Holland has previously stated he would like the situation resolved no later than mid-June.
Datsyuk still has one year remaining on his current deal with the Detroit Red Wings. The deal would pay him $5.5 million, but carries a $7.5 million cap hit. Because he signed the contract after reaching the age of 35, that amount will still count against Detroit's cap even if he retires from the NHL to return home.
The stickhandling wizard is enjoying his time with Russia's national team. He's been one of its top weapons at the event, scoring a goal and adding six assists. The host country will play Finland in the semifinal on Saturday.
Even if it turns out that the Russian sources jumped the gun, it's a safe bet that there's something going on here. Datsyuk has made it clear he'd like to be closer to his young daughter so whether there's an agreement yet or not, it's likely that one is forthcoming.