The Detroit Red Wings are “very close” to signing star forward Pavel Datsyuk to a “multi-year” contract extension, MLive.com reports (by way of Datsyuk’s agent Gary Greenstin).
“Me and Ken [Holland] and Pavel (are) very close,” Greenstin said.
Datsyuk’s Twitter feed teases as much, as this message from Monday suggests.
Big day tomorrow…
— Pavel Datsyuk (@Datsyuk13) June 18, 2013
The most interesting factor of the deal will likely be the length of that potential contract. He’ll turn 35 on July 20 and his current agreement expires after the 2013-14 season, so it will be a 35+ contract. Even for a player whose brilliance seems as ageless as Datsyuk’s, that has to be a cause for some concern.
(TSN’s Bob McKenzie hears that it could be a three-year deal, which might just be a happy medium. Naturally, that’s far from official, just like the rest of this situation.)
On the bright side, he only missed one contest in 2013, scoring 49 points in 47 games while lighting up highlight reels and being as versatile as ever.
A long deal is almost as much of a victory for fans of the league as a whole as it would be for Red Wings fans after there were rumblings about Datsyuk eyeing the KHL. His agent refuted reports about a deal in late May and he refused to skip the league’s All-Star Game after the lockout ended.
Assuming the two sides work things out, fans can breathe easy … which would mean that the rest of the NHL must hold its collective breath for quite a while longer.
As a cherry on top, let’s watch what was probably his most memorable goal from 2013 (sorry Nashville Predators fans):