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A surreal experience

A stuffy room above Orchard Lake St. Mary's rink, a crowd of media members clutching sound recorders and focusing cameras on a dais, and an NHL player making an emotional yet distant admission that yes, he's going home to Russia.

The scene at Pavel Datsyuk's retirement-from-the-NHL presser was surreal, and as a fan, it was hard to listen to, even though we had all known that Datsyuk was probably leaving as soon as Mickey Redmond mentioned the possibility on a Wings broadcast just before Elliotte Friedman rocked the hockey world with his Saturday Headlines story.

Today, Datsyuk highlighted the difficulty of his decision-making process, still somewhat uncomfortable with the news he delivered in what was ultimately a 14-minute Q and A with Metro Detroit reporters:

Being there didn't make it any easier. It made it more surreal, harder to listen to and palpably painful. Now we await Ken Holland's 2 PM presser, a presser in which he's probably going to announce that he's traded Datsyuk's cap hit...

And I guess all that can be said is this: the day has come. Pavel Datsyuk has played his last game as a Red Wing, and while he will continue to hold hockey camps here in Metro Detroit, we're not going to see him around very often as he's decided to go home despite owing the Wings a year of service on a 35-and-up contract. For Datsyuk, the pull of family was too much to bear, and fatherhood too great a responsibility to shirk for one more year. Whether that's justification enough for his decision is up to you to decide.

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Video- Pavel Datsyuk Press Conference Announcing His Retirement From The NHL

Watch it below, via Fox2 Detroit.

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The Pavel Datsyuk Decision

George is at the Datsyuk press conference so I will be updating this post as the information flows in.




He made decision after his family vacation.


added 12:08pm

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Sportsnet’s Shannon: How Datsyuk can ‘go home’

Sportsnet's John Shannon posted a pair of Tweets that may explain how Pavel Datsyuk will be allowed to play in the KHL despite having a year remaining on his NHL contract--which the KHL would have to honor under their Memorandum of Understanding with the NHL:

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Catchy uppy post: Wings news from Thursday and Friday

Of (mostly) Red Wings-related note this morning, from a blogger who's missed two days due to being sick as a dog:

1. The Wings posted a video chronicling the Gordie Howe visitation "From 9 to 9"...

2. Ansar Khan spoke with several Wings alums and Howe's contemporaries about #9's influence upon them;

3. AWood40 posted a clip of Pavel Datsyuk's playoff goals...

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Hakan Andersson discusses some of his ‘greatest hits’

NHL.com's Mike G. Morrale spoke with Red Wings draft guru Hakan Andersson about his many late-round draft pick hits:

In 26 years with the Red Wings, Andersson has proven to be one of the top talent evaluators in the business, capable of unearthing that diamond in the rough that has helped sustain Detroit's run of success. Among them have been late-round picks like forward Pavel Datsyuk in the sixth round (No. 171) of the 1998 NHL Draft; forward Henrik Zetterberg in the seventh round (No. 210) in 1999 and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson in the ninth round (No. 291) in 2002.

"Pavel Datsyuk played in a faraway place in Russia and there weren't many guys who saw him," Andersson said. "And to be honest, the fact we drafted him in the later rounds shows that maybe I didn't even believe in him that much at the time. If I would have known these players were this good, I would have pushed it and said, 'Let's draft them higher.' But I have to give a lot of credit to [former vice president/assistant general manager] Jim Nill, [former director of amateur scouting] Joe McDonnell and [general manager] Ken Holland for giving me the chance to make a pick in the late rounds."

General managers rely on their scouts to provide the necessary information when the clock is ticking at the NHL draft. It makes no difference whether it's a first- or seventh-round choice.

With the proper foresight to project a future star in the League, picks in the fifth round can turn out to be just as valuable as those in the first.


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Bettman says the NHL will honor Gordie Howe’s memory

From NHL.com, via the Red Wings:

"We're going to come up with something that's an enduring testament to Gordie," Bettman said Thursday from his office in New York. "There will be something that appropriately celebrates his life and creates a lasting tribute to his immortality. It will be something that will be special and enduring and permanent."

An emotional Bettman didn't speak with reporters outside the Detroit church where Howe was remembered in a funeral service that touched upon the player, husband, parent, grandparent and timeless fan favorite.

"The service was beautiful, done with elegance and grace - which was so befitting," the commissioner said. "This was clearly a testament to a man who was not just respected and revered, but beloved.

"The most moving part of the day, and what told me he was 'Mr. Hockey,' weren't necessarily the same thing. To me, the eulogy at a funeral is the most important thing, and Murray [Howe] couldn't have been more eloquent in encapsulating his father, as a father, a family man and as 'Mr. Hockey.'"

Bettman believes he first met Howe at a league event; perhaps it was an All-Star Game or another event, or maybe just a Red Wings game at Joe Louis Arena.

"He couldn't have been more welcoming, more gracious. But he did start with an elbow," the commissioner said, laughing.


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It’s decision day for Datsyuk

Per the Associated Press...

Pavel Datsyuk is expected to address his future Saturday, when he'll be available to reporters at his youth hockey camp in the Detroit area.

Datsyuk revealed plans in April to leave the Detroit Red Wings with a year left on his contract to reunite with his teenage daughter and continue his career in Russia. But after being quoted in a Detroit Free Press story saying he would retire from the NHL, Datsyuk told reporters there was a chance he could change his mind.

The 37-year-old Datsyuk has had a dazzling career. Detroit drafted him in the sixth round in 1998, and he helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2002 as a rookie. He was one of the franchise's stars when it won another title in 2008.

The Free Press's Helene St. James confirms...

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Datsyuk’s Meeting With Holland Is Over


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Report- Datsyuk Announcement Will Be On Saturday




added 10:15am,

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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