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.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.