DETROIT – When Pavel Datsyuk tweets out something like, “Big day tomorrow”, it’s worth looking into.
And what was discovered should make Detroit Red Wings fans quite happy.
According to Datsyuk’s agent Gary Greenstin, both sides are “very close” to reaching a multi-year agreement, that can’t be registered with the league until July 5.
“Of course it’s a big day, I’m flying to Detroit to have lunch together,” Greenstin said in a phone interview just before taking off on a flight to Detroit. “I can tell you we are kind of close, me and Ken (Holland) and Pavel are very close.”
When asked again if they were really close, Greenstin added, “Yes, me and Ken, we’re kind of close. It goes like this in negotiations. You know what Pavel means to the Red Wings and what he likes about the Red Wings.”
Datsyuk, 34, will make $6.7 million in the final year of his contract.
“I hope there will be something soon,” said Greenstin, who’s based out of Los Angeles. “We’ll see. He would like to continue his career in Detroit. I don’t see a problem in negotiations.
“We’re talking every day,” Greenstin continued. “Maybe tomorrow (they’ll have a deal), maybe in a few days. We’re not in a hurry.”
Despite the deal not being able to be made official until July 5, both sides can negotiate.
“We’re close,” Greenstin said.
Datsyuk said during the Wings’ end of season locker cleanout that he wanted to return to 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).”
Wings general manager Ken Holland said he would be talking to Greenstin during the time leading up to 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 until 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.”
In the Wings’ playoff series with Chicago, Greenstin shot down a report in Sovetsky Sport that his client had reached a tentative three-year agreement with AK Bars Kazan of the KHL after his contract expires next season with the Wings.
“It’s BS rumors,” Greenstin said at the time. “He can’t talk to anybody. He’s under contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
“Nobody is talking to any Russian team,” Greenstin continued. “There are rules and he’s under contract.”
Datsyuk has expressed feelings about returning to play in Russia one day.
“We have time,” Greenstin said. “If he stays here it will be with the Red Wings.”