Are you trying to predict what lies ahead in Pavel Datsyuk's hockey career? Good luck. By now you've probably heard speculation that Datsyuk will finish out the remaining year on his contract in 2013-14 before calling it quits in the NHL and playing out his final days in Russia. Other speculation indicates that while he wants to end his career in Russia, there's no guarantee he will leave the NHL after his current contract expires and that he might be open to extending his current contract.
New reports should give hope to Red Wings fans as it appears Datsyuk's agent is interested in talking to the team about the forward's future after the current season concludes. Datsyuk's agent Gary Greenstin stated that there hasn't been a decision made regarding Datsyuk's future, but that if the forward was to stay in the NHL that it'd be with the Red Wings.
Set to turn 35 in July, Datsyuk appears to be approaching the final few years of his playing career, though plays like this one might beg to differ. Clearly, Datsyuk still has plenty left in the tank, but it's unclear how he envisions his career winding down. We know that at some point he desires to return to Russia and close out his professional career in his home country. However, it's unclear if he views playing in Russia as a one year finale or as something that'd require a long-term contract.
What does all of this mean? Simply, Datsyuk's future is a giant mystery. He'll play out his contract, meaning he will play for the Red Wings in 2013-14, but anything beyond that is a question mark. At the very least, it should be positive to Detroit fans that Datsyuk's agent is wanting (and willing) to talk to the team about Datsyuk's future over the summer. Where there's a dialogue there's a chance for a contract extension.
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He is all but gone from Detroit. While in America you never saw his wife or child. When he got divorced his x-wife left with the daughter fast. This was a mutual decision. Datsyuk goes "home" every summer. Home is not Detroit. In direct contrast to when in America, while playing in Russia he gave interviews on TV WITH his daughter. He simply does not want his daughter in American schools. Or involved with all the grief of being the kid of a professional athlete here. Nicklas Lidström had similar issues. When his sons got to be high school age they went to Sweden and stayed with his sister. The differance in the situations is Datsyuk's kid lives in Russia. He has endless class and will never disrespect the Red Wings organization but the fact is he is all but done and sooner then later. Look for it to happen like Lidström's retirement. Announces his retirement, four days later is the kids last day of school, eight days later he is in Sweden and has been back one time for a few days. Bye it's been fun LATER. Been a Red Wings fan for years (as David knows). One thing I cant stress enough about the European and Russian players. They are respectful and respect the opportunity offered. They rarely wish to stay and often struggle with staying. They don't view it as a bonus to be here and ALWAYS want to go home. Also in the last 5-7 years schooling here (for the ones with kids) is becoming a huge issue. They simply keep it real quiet because the would get hammered with the political fall out from saying it publicly.