Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Wings, Datsyuk still no closer to deal

John Niyo of the Detroit News reports today that Pavel Datsyuk has turned down each of the multiple offers made to him by the Wings on Saturday. Niyo says the biggest stumbling block at this time is the length of the deal. Pavel, 27, is seeking a two- or three-year deal so he can become an unrestricted free agent in 2007. Detroit would obviously prefer to lock Datsyuk up for longer than two years and have been making offers varying from 1 to 5 years, with most of their emphasis on the 4 or 5 year contract length. Money remains an issue in the negotiations and it's looking more and more likely as it winds down to September 1st (Greenstin's deadline) that Pavel will play for Moscow Dynamo this season. He is expected to meet with his agent today in Moscow but unless he has a sudden change of heart, I wouldn't expect him to play in the Winged Wheel this season. According to Niyo, Datsyuk has not been practicing with Dynamo. Instead, he has been practicing with the Russian national team in preparation for the EuroTour tournament in the Czech Republic. So maybe there is some optimism to be found in that he hasn't already committed in all but word to Dynamo. Niyo also has some news on Zetterberg. Apparently, they are going slightly better than the talks with Pavel but Niyo rightly points out that this is more because Henrik has less leverage to make demands. It sounds like the issue with Hank is the money and not length of the deal. He earned just $650,000 last season and is looking for a considerable raise (say, $2 million a year in a long term deal). If Hank really wants a longer deal, he's on my good side, since he'll be tying himself to the deal and the Wings won't have to struggle to sign him again in a couple years. He obviously deserves a raise but I think $2 million a year would be a little steep for now.


At 8/30/2005 07:05:00 PM, Anonymous Gabriel P. said...

Here's the thing I can't wrap my head around: If Datsyuk has an inflated idea of his current and future worth to an NHL club, does he really believe his free agent stock will go up after having played in the Russian leagues for two years? Am I off base for thinking that nobody's going to offer him $4.5 million if he doesn't prove he's worth it in the NHL?

At 8/30/2005 07:46:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

I think that is in fact what Pavel is thinking. He probably has the idea that he is a big enough profile player that playing in Russia will only help him because the more mentally challenged GMs in the NHL will look at his inflated stats and say "Ooo aahhh.." He might not get the $4.5 million from a smarter GM but there are still others out there who would throw money at him.

Or, maybe Pavel doesn't want to come back to the NHL.

At 8/30/2005 08:14:00 PM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

Pavel will have no trouble proving his worth while playing for Dynamo, as long as he plays well in the big international tourneys, like the one coming up.

And don't downplay the quality of Russian hockey, it is getting better and better as the oligarchs continue to invest money in their teams. Watch for them to start dangling some big contracts in front of some NHL stars next year.

At 9/30/2005 03:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Keep up the good work on your blog!


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