Now, that doesn’t mean his reps say that Datsyuk is leaving. Instead, the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James received a statement from agent Dan Milstein that doesn’t really tell you anything:
Dan Milstein, who has managed Datsyuk for 12 years and is also his agent, said in an e-mail that, “Pavel has one more year left on his NHL contract. We will sit down with Ken Holland at the conclusion of the season for our annual year-end meeting.
“Pavel is very determined to play and show his best game while helping, assisting and motivating his team into the playoffs and another Stanley Cup.”
Well, that’s better than “no comment.” Maybe.
As this post details, it’s not just that the Red Wings are losing an aging superstar in a scenario where Datsyuk leaves after this season. As a veteran with a 35+ contract, Detroit will be on the hook for Datsyuk’s $7.5 million cap hit even if the genius forward doesn’t play in 2016-17.
(About the only silver lining of that situation is that at least Datsyuk’s contract expires after 2016-17, so the damage would at least be limited.)
So, long story short, it’s possible that Datsyuk and maybe those close to him only really know how accurate that report really is.