Pavel Datsyuk wants to go home. His career has been here. His wealth has been here. His celebrity has been here.
But his heart is somewhere else. It’s in Russia — with his teenage daughter and his roots, both of which he wants replanted into his life.
“I’m thinking I go home after this season,” he said, in a long discussion at the Northville home of his agent and friend, Dan Milstein. “I may not be done with hockey, but — it is hard to say — I think I am done playing in NHL.”
While this may be a shock to fans, it cannot be to the Red Wings. The truth is, Datsyuk has been squirming to go home since 2012, the year he played in Russia during the NHL lockout.
|1||Toronto Maple Leafs||82||69||0.421||20%|
|4||Columbus Blue Jackets||82||76||0.463||9.50%|
|11||New Jersey Devils||82||84||0.512||3%|
First of all, we don’t have it. All we know right now is that we’re one of four, and that’s important for us to know because that’s the way we’ll plan. Once we know exactly what our pick is, we’ll go from there. We’re not going to get excited over it. We’ll just be prepared to draft and work with our scouting staff, certainly, in preparation for that first pick one to four. And then we have another pick in the latter part of it. It won’t be something that we’re waiting and hoping for. We’re just getting ready.
Here are some of the candidates they’ll be looking at:
Maroon is under contract for two more seasons at $1.5 million annually, thanks to Anaheim’s agreement to retain $500,000 each year. While Maroon’s play and contract make him safe, the same can’t be said of Jordan Eberle or Nail Yakupov, the two most at risk of being moved for blue-line reinforcements.
“I think Loui Eriksson is a real good target for the Vancouver Canucks. I think we keep hearing that it might be a real good fit for Eriksson with the Sedins, if they go down that road, so I think that’s a realistic one.
In any pro sports league there are bound to be rumors of player dissatisfaction and coaches that aren’t giving players a fair shot. Such is the case with Jonathan Drouin who has recently been called off a suspension that was imposed for refusing to play again at the AHL level. In a bold move by Drouin and his agent, Allan Walsh, Drouin opted not to show for a January game between the Syracuse Crunch and the Toronto Marlies. Having been suspended without pay for what was to be an ‘indefinite length of time,’ young Drouin has returned to the game and now it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.
Is it big enough to transport Reimer’s home in Toronto to Calgary?
After all, this is one of the destinations Reimer could very well be eyeing up this summer when he decides where to sign as an unrestricted free agent.
Toronto GM Lou Lamoriello and coach Mike Babcock both called Michalek to let him know he’d be important with the Leafs. Michalek admitted he was disappointed to leave Ottawa.
“I’ve been there for so long and it’s been my home and my family was happy there, too,” he said. “It’s business. I’m here and I’m going to make the best out of it.”
Burrows turns 35 next month and has a year left on his contract at a healthy $4.5 million US. That’s a lot of cap space for a depth player and one who’s no longer on the power play, is still on the penalty kill and is being a good mentor to a growing core of young players.
Goalies the Leafs should consider in the off-season, if they’re available: Frederik Andersen of Anaheim; Jimmy Howard of Detroit; Jacob Markstrom of Vancouver
“I think you can say that about Nail Yakupov in Edmonton as well. Look, Peter Chiarelli is the guy who told me that Nail Yakupov was in play. His agent – one of them, anyway – Ian Pulver – would have been fine with Nail Yakupov getting a fresh start somewhere else.
“So all of the after nonsense of ‘Was this guy really on the block,’ or ‘Was that guy really on the block.’ I mean, there were no promises of players being traded, but these general managers were most definitely willing to consider those moves.
I’ve got a sneaking suspicion Christian Ehrhoff might be this year’s Michal Handzus. Off the scrap heap and into a major playoff role.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) March 3, 2016