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Abel to Yzerman

Source in Detroit: Datsyuk’s Got One Year Left

Pavel Datsyuk turns 36 on July 20th, 2014.  That birthday will be celebrated a few months after the last minutes of hockey he'll ever  play for the Detroit Red Wings.  Next year will be his last in the NHL and that's according to a very reliable source in Detroit, someone close to the organization and entrenched in regional hockey programs.

Why? Datsyuk wants to go home.  We all understand that.  But according to this source, a guy who skates with at least one recently-retired Red Wing and whose family is a staple in the Michigan hockey world, it's not just the lure of mother Russia.

Datsyuk sees the realignment, knows the kind of nightly abuse he's going to take in the Eastern Conference and wants to "go out like Barry Sanders did."  Healthy, in other words. And he wants to give the KHL a few years of brilliance. He wants his home country to see him while he still has magic left. 

Interesting comparison to Barry Sanders isn't it?  Are you thinking about it? If not...go ahead.  A few similarities. Health, retirement at an early age, a career of brilliance in Detroit.

And stubborn coaches who refuse to budge, even if it means hamstringing their best players--and the team at the same time.

Barry Sanders left because of his relationship, or lack thereof, with Bobby Ross. 

Pavel Datsyuk hasn't scored a goal in 12 games.  He's had Justin Abdelkader on his wing since February 17th.  Datsyuk hasn't had a primary assist on an even strength goal scored by a forward since the day that line (with Dan Cleary up until last night, now with Johan Franzen) was formed.  It's unfathomable.  It's disgusting.  And it's all on Mike Babcock. 

I get it. I get the desire to go home. Loyalty's a powerful drug.  And it's admirable. Everything about Datsyuk is admirable.  Many of us wouldn't have been surprised if he'd elected to stay in Russia after Gary Bettman's third work stoppage, the second Datsyuk's had to endure.  If he'd stayed, not a single one of us would have begrudged him because he loves his country just as we love ours.  Patriotism. Nationalism. It's a strong pull for those who feel it.  And he does.

The Eastern Conference thing. Got that too.  Primeau.  Lindros. Crosby. Malkin. Pronger. Five big names from two different eras. All of them fuzzy from concussions.  All in the East.  Yes. The Western Conference has its share. Corey Perry's making sure of that.  But the East is a rougher conference. Always has been.  Datsyuk isn't scared of it. We've seen him give back.  But he wants to be sure the Russian people see him at his best, if only for one or two seasons.

He'll take that abuse next year and he won't complain one bit.  He's taking a different sort this year and saying nothing. Literally.  When's the last time you saw a quote from him, a funny clip, a post-game interview.  You haven't.  Not in at least a month.  Nik Kronwall, in case you haven't noticed, is the voice of this team. And that's fine.  But Datsyuk has fallen silent. 

On the ice and off, that is.  And that's on Mike Babcock.  He has silenced the most offensively gifted player to ever wear the Winged Wheel.  It's deplorable and it's an offense that should lead to his dismissal.

You have about 100 games of Pavel Datsyuk left.  Don't blame him. He's going home.  If it pisses you off,  turn your attention to the guys with the nice hair and the suits. One has let a team disintegrate without replacing or even offsetting big-name departures, and the other has somehow done what the rest of the league's never been able to accomplish: he's shut Datsyuk down.

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11B4PF7 in MN's avatar

I feel like I have been at the Red Wings Glory Years wake the last three games.  Seriously, how the freak do the PLAYERS lose all of those points against the lowely Blue Jackets and Flames?  Have they quit on Babs?  It so, this is a good way to show it.

This isn’t really the thread for talking trades, but for the love of god, do not trade our first round pick this year.  At this rate, it is shaping up to be a very good—that is with a healthy Z and Dats.  Could you imagine where we would be without those two?  I mean, I think we all know Abby would be centering the first line, lol.

Posted by 11B4PF7 in MN on 03/14/13 at 01:19 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Hmm, Trade Datsyuk. A little over a month ago, quite the discussion back then too.
And to wedg56, create internet hits?  So wrong.
Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/14/13 at 01:09 PM ET

New info, Paul, means new discussion. If the Wings feel the likelihood of Pav’s departing is 60% or more, they would be criminally stupid not to trade him and get something for him.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/14/13 at 01:19 PM ET

11B4PF7 in MN's avatar

HTO, 

I’m so glad you used this quote by KH, “with parity anymore, all you have to do is make the playoffs then it’s wide open.” So, Kenny H, yes the playoffs could be wide open, but one of the reasons the Kings ran with it last year as an 8 seed is because they were so damn big and their goalie was awesome.  The Kings can phyaically wear you down over the coarse of a 60min game and take over in the third period.  Det doesn’t have that kind of a line-up.  We aren’t going to wear anyone down.  So go ahead do what you can to snqueeeeeze us into the playoffs and see what Nashville did to us last year.

Posted by 11B4PF7 in MN on 03/14/13 at 01:29 PM ET

Avatar

Shouldn’t the Wings be loyal to us by making the best hockey decisions possible and not wasting their most valuable hockey asset?

And it would be fan loyalty to make the team worse in the short term with no guarantee of making it better in the long term?

Fan loyalty to deprive your fanbase of being able to watch one of the best players in the world retire wearing a Red Wings jersey?

Fan loyalty to trade away by far the best player on the team so that they fans can watch him, wearing another teams’ colours, lighting up the Red Wings?

If they want to be loyal to the fans they should put Pavel up on a pedestal and praise him to death before he leaves while preparing for the day that he does leave.

Doesn’t Pavs owe some loyalty to the Ilitches, the Wings and Wings fans?

Really?  As a fan of Detroit, I would hate it if Datsyuk ever played against the Red Wings.  Loyalty to the fans isn’t asking for a trade.

but the rumors were never as strong or confirmed as they are with Pavs.

So now we’re pretending these are strong, confirmed rumours?  Sure.

Posted by Garth on 03/14/13 at 01:40 PM ET

Avatar

one of the reasons the Kings ran with it last year as an 8 seed is because they were so damn big and their goalie was awesome.

If I can provide a counter point, IMHO the reason they ran with it as an 8 seed is because they came together as a team late in the season.  If that team had been together all year and gelled earlier they would never have been an 8 seed.

Posted by Garth on 03/14/13 at 01:42 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I have believed for a while that Datsyuk would be gone after he honors his commitments. I also think Babcock resents his loyalty to Mother Russia on some odd level. Babcock has, in my, opinion brought great disrespect to the best hockey player in the World, and helped him to make this decision quicker and easier.

Abby and Cleary? Come on folks. That in and of itself speaks volumes. It’s like he’s giving Datsyuk the finger. Every. Single. Shift.

I cannot blame him. He loves his Country, and, it’s people. Part of his soul resides in Russia. That is just a part of being Russian. He has fulfilled every obligation to the Organization and then some.

He is a once in a lifetime player and talent, and I appreciate every second that I have had the privilege to watch him.

All the best to Pavel when he departs.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/14/13 at 01:49 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Eh, I’m not running objective on this one. If Pavs wants to be traded, then trade him. If Pavs wants Kenny to empty the cupboard for one last run, then give Pavs what he wants.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/14/13 at 01:52 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Pavel Datsyuk hasn’t scored a goal in 12 games.  He’s had Justin Abdelkader on his wing since February 17th.  Datsyuk hasn’t had a primary assist on an even strength goal scored by a forward since the day that line (with Dan Cleary up until last night, now with Johan Franzen) was formed.  It’s unfathomable.  It’s disgusting.  And it’s all on Mike Babcock.

Yep.  The very definition of insanity, right there.

Holland hasn’t been so shiny since the league turned off Mr. I’s wallet, has he?

As for Pavel, dude has earned whatever the hell he wants.

 

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/14/13 at 02:29 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Exactly JJ.  Like I said, Pav deserves to be happy.  He has earned it, and then some, as Kate said.  It has been an absolute honor to watch him play in the Winged Wheel.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/14/13 at 02:32 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

One of the other 19 gets credit for this line of thought:

For gawd’s sake don’t let the Wings turn into the Flames.  Always just good enough to flirt with getting into the playoffs, never good enough to do anything if they get there.  Just a tweak here and there.

I’d understand tweaks while #13 is still here.  But if you know he is going, better damn well get what you can for him, and it better be friggin good. 

Since we traded our last #1 pick for *#$%@& Turnstile.  Good gawd - way to go Ken.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/14/13 at 02:33 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I hope they don’t trade him. I’ll probably watch the team he ends up with until he goes to Russia. That said, for the love of gods, don’t trade him for picks! Prospects? Maybe. But not picks. It’d be much better to get active roster players (we need top pair D more than forwards - a healthy Jeff Skinner would be great). Picks would do nothing to alleviate the logjam out of the AHL.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 03/14/13 at 02:43 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Lidstrom was the straw that stirred the Wings drink - and now they have no clue how to fix that problem.

1/2 a fuching game of defensive grace, moving the puck, controlling the damn game now - - D zone often looks like a chinese fire drill.  Springing forwards out of the D zone is almost unseen and often passes out of the zone go to the opponent. This is the first season in ages where you regularly see DET sometimes just fuching dump the puck out of the zone.

Wanna know how good #5 was - even in his last season (playing almost 24 minutes a night):

Ian fuching whiner White:

11-12 77 g/p, 7 g, 25a, 32 pts, +23
12-13 15 g/p, 1 g, 1 a, 2 pts, -1

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/14/13 at 02:44 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I like our team.

You’re not gonna win it every year.

Lidstrom was a generational talent.

We’ve had injuries.

Once we have a fully healthy team we’ll be a better team.

Getting injured bodies back is like a deadline pick-up.

We don’t want to mortgage the future.

With parity anymore, all you have to do is make the playoffs then it’s wide open.

It’s the Ken Holland doll.  Just pull the string and hear him speak one of these timely, insightful, truisms

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/14/13 at 02:46 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

It’s the Ken Holland doll.  Just pull the string and hear him speak one of these timely, insightful, truisms

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/14/13 at 02:46 PM ET

You’ll sh!t if you’re well fed. Forgot that one.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/14/13 at 02:57 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

We havent been able to beat a full ice press here since Bowman left. And thx to Columbus, they’ve shown the league how its done. Until its addressed, we aint goin nowhere.

Remember in 05-06 when Edmonton exposed us in the same full ice press in the playoffs? Its just like that all over again. We have to trade for a solid puck moving defenseman NOW. Not at the trade deadline, but now if they want help to get going here. Or it ends here, in March.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/14/13 at 03:06 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by
     
    NIVO
     
    from underpants gnome village on 03/14/13 at 03:06 PM ET

Exactly right, but Columbus just did what the Blues have done to us the past couple years, what Nashville has done, what the Sharks have done, what Calgary did to us last night.

Absolutely right and I don’t know that Babcock is a generator of creative though rather than system administrator.  He’s not writing code, he’s plugging in code and seeing if it works.  There used to be a method to the mayhem that kept everyone confident in the system.  There’s no confidence in the system under Babs but there’s a rigidity in their play on ice in attempting not to deviate.  They’re thinking more about his system instead of him having a system that gets the best out of every player.  There has to be a healthy balance.  The Kovalev Diametric.  Can’t be all art and intuition, but you can’t be a robot out there.

Also, look at all the blame Blashill took for the PP last year.  Brought in Renny, was gonna be our savior, still suck.  Meanwhile Blashill has taken our average Griffins and organized them into the dominate team in their division.  Same he did with W. Michigan.  Blashill clearly wasn’t the problem, just the coach who the org threw under the bus.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/14/13 at 04:33 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

TRADE PAVEL.

Good lord, that makes me want to vomit as much as I did that drunken night I won a bet and kissed a 300 lb toothless ‘woman’ at a dive bar down by the Mackinac Bridge.

But it’s not a baseless comment, which makes it even worse.

This season just has SUCK written all over it.

Oh, and at the risk of being labeled an Eyore, make no mistake about it: The 21 appearances are over this year.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 03/14/13 at 05:07 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

There’s no confidence in the system under Babs but there’s a rigidity in their play on ice in attempting not to deviate.  They’re thinking more about his system instead of him having a system that gets the best out of every player.

That’s why Kronner and the rest of the team is playing the way they are. No room to be creative.

It’s like the Borg. You must assimilate.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/14/13 at 05:11 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Hmm.  All these years all I’ve heard is how desperately disadvantaged the Wings are by being in the West.  Turns out there were some advantages to it, after all, which apparently someone is finally willing to cop to? interesting.

Posted by Lex Talionis on 03/14/13 at 12:50 PM ET

The stupidity of that comment gave me a headache.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 03/14/13 at 05:11 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

The 21 appearances are over this year.

Lets see, outscored 6-2 in two games with the BJ’s
and last nights 2-5 fiasco.

Nothing Eeyore about that, just cold-hard truth - - and even worse, it is probably the best possible result.  Better that than limp into the playoffs and get your ass handed to you, AND lose draft lottery position.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/14/13 at 05:24 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Nothing Eeyore about that, just cold-hard truth - - and even worse, it is probably the best possible result.  Better that than limp into the playoffs and get your ass handed to you, AND lose draft lottery position.
Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Looking for a “D” man on 03/14/13 at 05:24 PM ET

Amen.

Suck for Seth!

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/14/13 at 05:32 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Yeah right. The Wings get Seth and they’ll bury him in GR for 6 or 7 years.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/14/13 at 05:54 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by
     
    Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit
     
      on 03/14/13 at 05:11 PM ET

And they feed us the line it’s because we’re lacking skill.

When all we draft are small skill guys.

 

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/14/13 at 05:58 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

shit, we had skill on the third line and sent him packing.

But I guess from Babs perspective, a team sporting Abby has a 1/2 line winger might perceive itself as lacking skill.

It’s like Babs cannot tolerate swagger in the room unless he tells you to have it.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/14/13 at 06:01 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

We aren’t getting Seth Jones or any of the other top 5 picks, because we aren’t finishing 13th-15th in the West.  Let’s just get that out of the way right now. 

We are looking at finishing 5th-11th in the West.  That means we are drafting 8th-20th and those mid-first-rounders are all similar in that they aren’t making even a mediocre lineup for a couple years, minimum. Most years it would be a crapshoot as to whether or not they will even be NHLers but this year’s draft is a bit deeper than most.

I’d rather make the playoffs, remind the team that losing is for Avalanche, and continue to foster a winning culture than miss the playoffs just so that we can have a slightly better crapshoot.  Losing is not the Red Wing way and missing the playoffs is un-fuching-acceptable.

I’m pissed off and borderline depressed, too.  But, I’m not about to resign myself to acting like a fan of the Dive, Oilers, Pens, etc. and hope that the league will hand us a golden goose.  I’m not a street urchin and I don’t wnt a god-damned handout

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 03/14/13 at 06:01 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 03/14/13 at 06:01 PM ET

Per NHL’s recent press release, every team that misses the playoffs is in the lottery this season.

Also, draft picks are not a hand out. It is the only way to collect enough talent to be competitive for the cup; teams can’t buy championships through free agency anymore in a salary cap world.

Detroit’s last Cup was filled with talent garnered in the pre-cap era. Since that 2008 Cup victory, let’s look at the winners.

2009 Pens: sucked for several years and drafted Fleury, Malkin and Rosby.
2010 Hawks: sucked for several year and drafted Kane, Toews, Barker
2011 Bruins: the exception; built mostly through trades like for Chara
2012 Kings:sucked for years and drafted Brown, Kopitar, Bernier, Doughty

 

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/14/13 at 06:35 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

We’re not looking for a hand out.  We’re trying to play the hand we’re dealt in a way that sets us up to win more in the future.  Pride has it’s place but when it comes to business - and make no mistake, sports is a business - you have to know when to swallow that pride.  We’re not better than any other organization out there that have had to deal with the possibility of missing the playoffs.  To say it’s unacceptable sounds arrogant and elitist.  We may not like it but if it’s our turn, let’s deal with it like adults and set our selves up for future success.  Drop dead weight, sell players while their stock is high, and start integrating the prospects that are going to be carrying this team in the future.

Posted by gt500x on 03/14/13 at 06:46 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Drop dead weight, sell players while their stock is high, and start integrating the prospects that are going to be carrying this team in the future.

Posted by gt500x on 03/14/13 at 06:46 PM ET

You’re making too much sense… get the hell outta here. cheese

Posted by calquake on 03/14/13 at 11:37 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

“go out like Barry Sanders did.”

I’m sure he was devastated like the rest of us when Barry sudd - what???  Yeah, no, that is not pavel datsyuk talking.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 03/15/13 at 05:35 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

I think if he’s leaving, he’s had his decision made up for a few years now.
Posted by Heaton on 03/14/13 at 11:08 AM ET

Or for some considerable time previous to this season and certainly before any current line combinations existed that would have absolutely nohing to do with said decision.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 03/15/13 at 05:41 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

How much longer will Zetterberg stay?
He has nothing to prove, and could handily go back and play in Sweden.
He also would take less pounding by playing in Europe.

Posted by w2j2 on 03/15/13 at 08:10 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

If drafting made teams, the Oilers would be the greatest team in the universe right now.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 03/15/13 at 08:15 AM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Per NHL’s recent press release, every team that misses the playoffs is in the lottery this season.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 03/14/13 at 06:35 PM ET

Absolutely correct.  But planning your future based on winning something that is very accurately called a “lottery” isn’t what I would call a plan for success.  Especially when the chances of winning said lottery are greatly diminished if you aren’t in the bottom 4 teams.
.

If drafting made teams, the Oilers would be the greatest team in the universe right now.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 03/15/13 at 08:15 AM ET

Well they would have to compete with other powerhouses like CBJ, FLA, and NYI.

Tanking for picks would make the Wings the same as every other team that Gary handed a cup to.  It’s a fuching handout and just because the neighbor is on foodstamps doesn’t make it any less of a handout when you accept it. 

We’re not better than any other organization out there
Posted by gt500x on 03/14/13 at 06:46 PM ET

I disagree.  The Wings are a better organization and if you think the Dive are as good as the Wings, then I don’t think there’s any point to discussing this further.

 

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 03/15/13 at 10:35 AM ET

gt500x's avatar

Right. There’s no point in trying to carry on intelligent discussions with people blinded by elitist homerism.  People make points and you remove them from their contexts, distorted them to extremes for the sake of having an argument.

Posted by gt500x on 03/15/13 at 11:46 AM ET

gt500x's avatar

*distorting

Posted by gt500x on 03/15/13 at 11:47 AM ET

Matt Saler's avatar

Not saying this doesn’t feel right to the pessimist in me, but I didn’t think anonymous sources were kosher.

Posted by Matt Saler from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/15/13 at 11:58 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

To say it’s unacceptable sounds arrogant and elitist.

And?

let’s deal with it like adults


Are you at all familiar with A2Y?

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/15/13 at 12:16 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

but I didn’t think anonymous sources were kosher.

Posted by Matt Saler from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/15/13 at 11:58 AM ET

We vetted the source Matt, and felt highly confident based on who he is and his reputation in and around Detroit, that he was well above board. And considering we hardly ever do this, actually I don’t think we ever have, I didn’t have a problem with using an anonymous source.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 03/15/13 at 12:18 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

If Pavs wants to be traded, then trade him. If Pavs wants Kenny to empty the cupboard for one last run, then give Pavs what he wants.

Exactly JJ!!!  Well put and exactly right on the Mark!

Enjoy the Magician while he is with the Wings, once in a lifetime treat, IMO

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 03/15/13 at 03:17 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Posted by gt500x on 03/15/13 at 11:46 AM ET

In what way did I distort your statement?  Your statement was pretty much a black and white one: you don’t think the Red Wings organization is better than any other.  Fair enough.  But, do not accuse me of twisting your words just because they sound pretty awful when you think about them.

As for being an elitist and a homer: Yes, I am.  And proud of it.  In fact, that’s why I am here at A2Y: The blog that has always embraced that sentiment.  I fully believe the Red Wings organization is better than any other in the league.  Based on recent history, I have good reason to believe so.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 03/15/13 at 03:54 PM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com