Forward Pavel Datsyuk promised today would be a big day, and true to his word, he has announced his new deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
Datsyuk has agreed to a three-year extension that will begin once his current deal expires after the 2013-14 campaign. He didn’t share the financial terms, but he’ll come with a $6.7 million annual cap hit next season.
Update: Red Wings GM Ken Holland reported that Datsyuk signed for $22.5 million, according to Detroit Free Press writer Helene St. James. That puts his cap hit beyond the 2013-14 campaign at $7.5 million.
The three-time Selke Trophy winner will be 35 once his new deal starts, which means his cap hit will stay with Detroit even if he decides to retire before the contract expires. That being said, Datsyuk is still playing at an elite level as evidenced by his 49 points in 47 games last season.
Re-signing Datsyuk kills the rumors that the Russia-born forward might leave for the KHL after the 2013-14 campaign. That’s one less major question the Red Wings will have hanging over their heads once the season starts.
This move also means that Detroit has locked up its core of forwards Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, defenseman Niklas Kronwall, and goaltender Jimmy Howard through at least the 2016-17 campaign.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.