Pavel Datsyuk says he is leaving the Red Wings to return to Russia
Pavel Datsyuk made it official Saturday: He is leaving the Detroit Red Wings to return to Russia, where he plans to play in the Kontinental Hockey League.
Datsyuk, 37, debuted with the Red Wings in the 2001-02 season and spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the franchise.
The three-time All-Star had 314 goals and 604 assists for 918 points in 953 career games, topping the 30-goal plateau in three separate seasons. The playmaking center added 42 goals and 71 assists in 157 postseason games. He won four Lady Byng trophies and three Selke Trophies.
Datsyuk was due to earn $7.5 million in the upcoming season, and the Detroit Free Press notes that figure still will count against the Red Wings' cap. The team can attempt to trade his contract, perhaps to pursue free-agent center Steven Stamkos.
Datsyuk won Stanley Cups with the Red Wings during the 2001-02 season and the 2007-08 season.