Report: Datsyuk Could Return To Red Wings
It's not a slam dunk by any means, and we don't even know if new Red Wing GM Steve Yzerman is even interested, but the Detroit News says former Red Wings superstar Pavel Datsyuk "has completed" his commitment to his Russian KHL team, and his agent says a return to the Wings is possible.
But before you begin planning the "welcome back" party, keep in mind there are several big ifs and obstacles. As stated above, the first big if is, whether new Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman is even interested in bringing back a former superstar who is now 41 years old. The question would be along the lines of can he still play at the NHL level at his age, and would he be willing to mentor younger players.
The News report indicates some discussions had already taken place with former GM Ken Holland, so this news can't be a surprise to Yzerman.
Here's something many may not know: Datsyuk's right belong to the Arizona Coyotes. (The Coyotes have been used by several teams to dump "dead" contracts to create space under the league's hard salary cap.) But the Coyotes only have his rights until July 1st. After that he becomes a free agent. The News report quotes Datsyuk's agent as saying Datsyuk would only consider coming back to the NHL as a Red Wing.