Datsyuk focused on making playoffs, ‘not looking at next year’

AP
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Pavel Datsyuk can’t — or won’t — say what his plans are for next season.

In the wake of Saturday’s report that the Red Wings star was entertaining a return to Russia, Datsyuk was noncommittal with reporters today.

“I have one more year on contract, we have three games left in season. That is more focus for me now,” Datsyuk said, per MLive.

“I’m not looking at next year.”

The 37-year-old is signed through next season, though — for a $7.5 million cap hit that would remain on the books were he to retire.

Datsyuk’s agent provided a similarly noncommittal comment yesterday.

Detroit has three games remaining in its regular season, with a lengthy playoff streak on the line. The Wings host the Flyers Wednesday, play in Boston Thursday and finish their schedule Saturday at the Rangers. They’re currently one point up on the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division. The B’s also have three games left.

The last time Detroit missed the playoffs was the 1989-90 season.

“Our focus right now are these three games starting on Wednesday,” said captain Henrik Zetterberg. “That’s what Pavel is focused on, that’s what we’re focused on and whatever happens after, we focus on after.”