Last June, with one year left on his contract, Pavel Datsyuk signed a 3-year contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings. At the expiration of the contract, the 2017 offseason, the magician will be 39 years of age, and Datsyuk’s desires to end his NHL career will most likely be fulfilled at that time.
“This is my goal [to end my career in the KHL], but you never know how it goes. I would love to finish there, give back to my friends and fans in Russia [while] I hope I’ll be in good shape.”- Pavel Datsyuk
This is what Datsyuk said while in Russia during the 2012 NHL lockout, and whether it was frustration with the league or a true statement from the heart will probably be unknown until that contract expires.
The youth movement has already started in Detroit, and it looks like the transition out of the Datsyuk-Zetterberg era into a new one will be smooth as silk. We have seen players like Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco, and Riley Sheahan take Detroit by storm, and the rest of the league by surprise. These young shooters aren’t alone as there’s an entire other youth movement right behind them, and 3 players of which I think could make one of the premier lines in the league. It’s a bit too early to say with a lot of confidence because they have just started their professional careers, but the concept is intriguing nonetheless.
Can you imagine a line of Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, and Teemu Pulkkinen? Let’s take a look at each player, and why they would work well together.