Monday, September 05, 2005

Report: Datsyuk signs with Avangard Omsk

It appears Ken Holland's efforts to keep Pavel Datsyuk in Detroit were in vain, if the reports are true. According to the news agency Reuters, Pavel signed a one-year contract with the Siberian team Avangard Omsk today. The report also says that Datsyuk rejected a $5 million offer by the Wings last week and was seeking $6 million from Detroit. His Russian salary is not included in the report but it does say his contract includes a clause that would allow him to return to the NHL mid-season. Well. It's no surprise to me that Pavel is staying in Russia. What is a surprise is that he signed with Avangard Omsk and not Moscow Dynamo like everyone's been reporting for months. However, due to that little discrepancy, I'm taking this report with a bit of salt. Until it's confirmed by the Detroit area newspapers, I won't accept it absolutely. I full expected him to sign with Moscow but this signing has me doubting. I'm assuming, since none of the reports say "per year," that the $5 million offer the Wings made Pavel was a total, not yearly, amount. Same with what he was apparently asking for ($6 million). Although John Niyo has reported the two sides had agreed on a three year term, these numbers seem to indicate a two-year contract length (allowing Pavel to become a UFA in 2007, two years hence). So, under the Wings' offer, he'd have made $2.5 million each year and under his, he would have made $3 million a year. That meshes somewhat better with his comment here (as quoted in the Russian media):
"I think I am worth at least what (Dany) Heatley or (Joe) Thornton got from their deals."
Dany Heatley will make $3.5 million this year, while Thornton will make $6.66 million (so Pavel's a little off). Maybe I'm interpreting the reports wrong but I just find it hard to believe that Pavel would demand $6 million a year let alone that the Wings would offer him $5 million a year when they're so hogtied already. With their cap room standing at about $7 million, they would have barely have had room to sign Henrik Zetterberg and would have had no room at all to sign anyone else. If they really want to sign 4-5 more players, the absolutely would not have offered Pavel $5 million a year. Period. I'm obviously very sorry to see him go but I find some hope in the fact that he was able to secure an escape clause in his Russian contract. It looks like there's a chance he could play in Detroit after all. If the report is true. UPDATE (6. Sep 05): The Detroit News has confirmed the signing. It's for one year at $6 million, so I did interpret the report completely wrong. Ugh. More later, perhaps.


At 9/06/2005 09:49:00 AM, Anonymous ps said...

Crazy russians...if they will pay Datsyuk that much...well, not much Holland can do.

At 9/06/2005 10:36:00 PM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

Damn Gary Bettman and his salary cap! Pretty clear why Pavel signed with Avangard Omsk. 6 mil beats the hell outta 3.3 mil, which was what Dynamo was offering. I long ago gave up on keeping Pavel. He'd be a fool to give up the tax free money in Russia. I wouldn't get my hopes up on seeing him anytime this year. Or ever in a Wings uniform again.

At 9/07/2005 05:10:00 AM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

I agree. It really looks like Pavel is gone for good. It's a shame.


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