Pavel Datsyuk is heading back to Detroit.
And he should be back with the team in time for training camp to open, which could possibly be Sunday, his agent Gary Greenstin to The Macomb Daily.
“Of course,” Greenstin said when asked if Datsyuk was coming back to play in Detroit this season. “He’ll be back in a few days.
“It was a great experience for him,” Greenstin continued. “He played on a good team. The most important thing was he was playing hockey.”
Greenstin said Datsyuk is in Moscow now and will go to his hometown of Ekaterinburg before leaving for Detroit in a few days.
“He played hockey to stay in great shape,” Greenstin said. “He’s looking forward to coming back. He’s coming back and will be in great game shape.”
Datsyuk flourished in his short time in the KHL, playing on a line with Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski.
“They were very successful together,” Greenstin said.
In 31 games with CSKA Moscow, he had 11 goals and 25 assists, playing for general manager and former teammate Sergei Fedorov.
He was named the most valuable player in Russia for any sport in December.
Datsyuk also played for the Russian national team in The Euro Hockey Tour where he was the leading scorer with eight points, three goals, in three games.
“I talked to Ken (Holland) and everything is under control,” Greenstin said. “Pavel is a straight guy, honest player, honest person. He has an obligation to Detroit and he will fulfill it.
“They want him to stay, but my clients always oblige their contracts,” Greenstin added. “The standard player contract says when the lockout is over they have to return to Detroit.”
Datsyuk will become an unrestricted free agent after next season.
And signing another deal to stay in Detroit seems like a strong possibility.
“He has the ability to play a lot more seasons,” said Greenstin, who’s talked briefly with Holland about Datsyuk’s future. “We’re going step-by-step. It’s too early.
“My suggestion is Pavel stays in Detroit,” Greenstin continued. “Pavel’s not a traitor. Detroit has built the team around Pavel and Hank (Zetterberg). If he stays in North America, he will stay in Detroit, but it’s too early to talk about things.”