DETROIT – Pavel Datsyuk wants to come back.
Datsyuk, 34, would still like to finish his career in Russia, but not before spending a few more seasons in Detroit.
“It’s not 100 percent, but I’m looking forward (to signing here),” Datsyuk said. “I would love to stay. I hope we agree and I sign new deal.
“This is my goal, but you never know how this goes,” Datsyuk continued. “I would love to finish (in Russia), give it back to my friends and fans in Russia. I hope I’ll be in good shape (then).”
Datsyuk will make $6.7 million in the final year of his contract.
Wings general manager Ken Holland said he’ll talk with Gary Greenstin, Datsyuk’s agent, in the next few weeks, but a new deal can’t be signed until July 5.
“It’s very important, but obviously he’s got options too,” Holland said. “He’s got a year to go, we know he’s on the team next year. Negotiations are tough. Because the player’s trying to find out what’s fair for him and the team is trying to find out what competitively, what you think makes sense. So just because all of a sudden somebody says they want to stay doesn’t mean you’re going to have a contract done.”
Datsyuk made headlines when he made said his dream would be to finish his career in Russia, which many speculated meant leaving Detroit after this contract ran out.
“You asked me and I just answered it’s fun to be home, but one home to come to another home, when you play too much here, it’s nice to come back home (to Russia),” Datsyuk said.
Henrik Zetterberg, 32, has a deal that runs after the 2020-21 season making an average salary of $6,083,333 million.
“My time is too long, you never know,” Datsyuk said when asked how long he’d like to play in the NHL. “Hockey now is so competitive, so aggressive game. You never know. But I’m looking forward.”