Pavel Datsyuk inked a one-year contract with his hometown hockey club Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. The announcement quashed speculation that he could be making a return to the NHL.
Pavel Datsyuk Signs with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg
— KHL (@khl_eng) June 5, 2019
Datsyuk ended a three-year stint with SKA St. Petersburg in May. In 135 games, he posted 111 points with the KHL club. This move spurred rumours that the All-Star could be heading back to his former team, the Detriot Red Wings.
Detroit drafted Datsyuk in the sixth round of the 1998 NHL Draft, 171st overall. He spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the Red Wings before leaving the league in 2016. A fan favorite, he was affectionately known as The Magic Man.
The move to the KHL came with one year left on his NHL deal. The Red Wings traded Datsyuk’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes, who will retain his rights until June 30. The veteran was vocal about his desire to play his beloved sport in his home country.
The chances of Datsyuk returning to the league were always slim. His wife and three children, two of which are under six, all call Russia home. Datsyuk turns 41 this year, and making the switch back to the NHL never seemed to be firmly on his radar.
A Memorable Career
In his last season with the Red Wings, Datsyuk collected 16 goals and 33 assists for 49 points in 66 games. During his career, The Magic Man won two Stanley Cups, three Selke Trophies, and four Lady Byng Memorial Trophies.
In his final season with SKA St. Petersburg, Datsyuk notched 12 goals and 30 assists. After 14 seasons in the NHL, he appeared in 953 games, totaling 314 goals and 604 assists for 918 points. Last year, Datsyuk won an Olympic gold medal with the Russian Olympic Athletes.
TAMPA, FL – APRIL 21: Pavel Datsyuk #13 of the Detroit Red Wings checks his stick before a face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 21, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)