Report: Datsyuk may leave for Russia after this season (and Red Wings would be stuck with his cap hit)

AP
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The Detroit Red Wings are in a dogfight to try to keep their epic playoff streak going. If that isn’t enough to agitate Red Wings fans, well …

… *lets out a deep breath*

How do we say this?

During the latest edition of Saturday Headlines, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Pavel Datsyuk may very well leave the Red Wings for Russia. And that might happen as soon as things wrap up for the Red Wings this season.

Ouch.

Here’s the full segment.

If that doesn’t hurt enough, Friedman points out a fact that adds insult to injury: if this happens, the makeup of the latest CBA means the Red Wings would be stuck with his $7.5 million cap hit for 2016-17.

Before Red Wings fans say anything harsh about magical #13, consider this: Friedman reports that it may make such a move because of family reasons.

It’s important to remember that this hasn’t been confirmed by the Red Wings or Datsyuk. It’s also obvious that things can change, whether that means Datsyuk playing out his contract (which expires after 2016-17) or extending his career with Detroit even beyond that.

Still, it’s a scary possibility coming from one of the most respected reporters in the business, so don’t blame Red Wings fans for getting nervous.

Ultimately, they should do what’s reasonable enough with Datsyuk, anyway: savor these moments.

Update: A few bits from GM Ken Holland.