Friday, September 10, 2004

Pavel Datsyuk's agent speaks

Pavel Datsyuk's agent Gary Greenstin told the media after Team Russia's 5-3 loss to the US, that the Red Wings are his client's only choice and that he is confident they will reach a deal soon. He negated worries caused by Ken Holland's comment in June that they were "miles apart" in negotiations even after making a "heck of an offer" by using some creative if/then statements. I don't have what he actually said so I'll just quote the Detroit Free Press:
If Holland says the sides are as far apart as opposite ends of the Grand Canyon, Greenstin said, then they'll "build a tunnel." If Holland says the sides are as far apart as the banks of the Mississippi River, Greenstin said, then they'll "build a bridge."
Wow. Maybe Greenstin should take up a career in poetry on the side. He and Dave Lewis could write a book together (I wonder how many of you know what I'm talking about. I know at least one of you does....). Anyway, Greenstin likes to make the point that since Pavel didn't want to go into arbitration, he obviously wants to stick with the Wings. However, it seems to me like he's got Pavs' idea of what he's worth a little jacked up. When Ken Holland says the organization offered a "heck of a deal," they offered a heck of a deal and yet it was rejected. Pavel may have had a breakout year (30G, 38A) to go along with that significant amount of talent and he may figure big into the Wings' future plans but he needs to keep his head on straight and not aim higher than he's worth. Greenstin obviously wishes Pavel had gone into arbitration, though, since he brought up the salaries awarded to Scott Gomez ($2.9 million), Brendan Morrison ($3.5 million) and Alex Tanguay ($4.25 million) as examples of what his agent, as a player in that "circle" should be getting. He seems to forget or ignore the fact that those players are established in the league and have been for longer than Pavel's been an NHLer. They have proven themselves worthy of earning that much whereas Pavel has only argubly done so and would be getting paid more on potential than anything else. He obviously should get some more than the $1.5 million he got last year while leading the team in scoring ( along with Brett Hull) with 68 points but how much more is the big question. The Wings simply cannot afford to pay him too much because they know they will have to shed a ton of salary under a new CBA and they don't want Pavel to be one of those players. Pavel has a deal with Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Elite League to play next year if there is no season and it It had originally been stated by Greenstin that he would have to play the whole year there if a deal was not reached with the Wings by September 15th. However, the agent said Tuesday that there is an escape clause which would allow Datsyuk to return to the NHL when it starts back up, even if a deal is not reached by Wednesday. He did say, though, that it would be safer if a deal was reached sooner since "Nobody knows -- not me, not Kenny -- what rules will be in new CBA? Maybe he has to go through waivers? Who knows?." Very true. I think the Wings may be safer biting the bullet now rather than losing Pavel to another team because of some rule about players returning from Europe. That would be a real shame. Besides, maybe whatever deal they make wouldn't be valid anyway under a new CBA.


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