The Detroit Red Wings continued their streak of playoff appearances earlier this spring, making it to the Stanley Cup tournament for a 25th consecutive season.
But their appearance was short, as they were once again bounced in the first round — for the third straight year, so consider that a streak of its own — by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With another early post-season exit, attention turned to the offseason. The big story was the future of Pavel Datsyuk, who is 38 years old and had one more year left on his contract, which came with a cap hit of $7.5 million. Speculation started with a report that the long-time Red Wing could leave that organization for his homeland, Russia, at the end of the NHL season and continued from there.
His contract — and cap hit — was eventually dealt to the Arizona Coyotes at the NHL Draft, officially ending Datsyuk’s time in Detroit. He won two Stanley Cups there, and scored 314 goals and 918 points in 953 games with the Red Wings.
Datsyuk has since signed a two-year contract in the KHL.
The Red Wings also brought back goalie Petr Mrazek and defenseman Danny DeKeyser with no arbitration hearing necessary in both cases. Luke Glendening was signed to a four-year contract extension and Darren Helm avoided free agency, signing a five-year, $19.25 million deal.
Brad Richards also retired after 15 NHL seasons.
The Red Wings and the hockey world also lost the legendary Gordie Howe, who passed away at the age of 88.