By Allan Muir
Pavel Datsyuk may have been speaking from the heart when he talked about how much fun he had playing back home in Russia during the lockout. “This is my goal [to end my career in the KHL], but you never know how it goes,” he said. “I would love to finish there, give back to my friends and fans in Russia [while] I hope I’ll be in good shape.”
But by the end of the season, he was coming from a much more pragmatic place when he voiced a wish to stay in Detroit. “Yeah, I hope we sign a new deal. I hope we agree and I sign for more [years],” he said as the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers.
And so it was no surprise when Datsyuk tweeted today that he’d come to terms on a three-year extension that will earn him $23 million and keep him with the Wings through the 2016-17 season.
It’s a win for both sides. Datsyuk will be paid $10 million the first year, $7.5 million the second, and $5.5 million the third, with a cap hit of $7.5 million that’s more than manageable for Wings and a fair payday for a player who led the team in scoring this past season. Big smiles all around.