Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk has been one of the best NHL players of his era, but his career in North America appears to be nearing its end.
Datsyuk recently told Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press that his NHL career could be over after Detroit’s playoff run this spring.
“I’m thinking I go home after this season,” Datsyuk said. “I may not be done with hockey, but — it is hard to say — I think I am done playing in NHL.”
The 38-year-old forward has one more year left on his contract, which carries a $7.5 million salary cap hit. The salary cap hit still would count toward Detroit’s 2016-17 payroll if Datsyuk retires. Unless, of course, the Red Wings are able to trade his contract to a team trying to reach the salary cap floor.
If Datsyuk walks away from the NHL, he will have finished with 918 points (314 goals, 604 assists) in 953 career games. He also won three Selke Trophies as the league’s best defensive forward in addition to Stanley Cup titles in 2002 and 2008 with Detroit.
The Red Wings will play the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. Detroit is making its 25th consecutive postseason appearance.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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