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Will Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk sign with the Ak Bars after all?

Trying to figure out Pavel Datsyuk's lockout playing destination has involved more feints than a Datsyukian deke. First he was supposedly going to sign with the Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL, and then he wasn't...On Tuesday, Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov reported that Datsyuk would end up playing for CSKA Moscow or Dynamo Moscow, and Lysenkof offered the following in Russian (roughly translated)...

Agent Gary Greenstin, who represents Datsyuk, let me know that he's negotiated and prepared a contract offer. Now the puck's on Pavel's side. And if he gives consent, then the deal will be announced.

Greenstin himeslf is now in Moscow, so it's logical to assume that Datsyuk will return to Dyanmo, which won the Russian championship in 2005.

"On the topic of Datsyuk, I won't comment!" said Dynamo GM Andrey Safronov. But there's no fire without smoke: so negotiations are underway.

Well that might not be the case after all, if we are to believe Allhockey.ru (again, roughly translated):

According to Allhockey.ru, from sources close to the Kazan team Ak Bars, they've signed a contract with Detroit forward and Russian team star Pavel datsyuk, and soon, Datsyuk, who is already in Kazan, will join his new lockout team.

Earlier it was reported that the Ak Bars reached an agreement in principle with Datsyuk, but then Ak Bars GM Shamil Kusnutdinov denied it, and the team's official website published a statement that it wasn't negotiating and wouldn't negotiate with NHL players who want to sign short-term contracts.

As far as that option's concerned, Allhockey.ru believes that the Ak bars have changed their mind, as is clearly related to Russian stars signing with other teams, such as Evgeni Malkin in Magnitogorsk, Ilya Kovalchuk with SKA and Alex Ovechkin appearing to be heading to Dynamo Moscow and Alex Semin heading to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

We'll have to take all of these reports with salt, but if I were a betting man, I'd suggest that Datsyuk will end up with the Ak Bars.

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Hawk's avatar

Pavel Lysenkov is a light version of Eklund.

Posted by Hawk from Moscow, Russia on 09/19/12 at 05:24 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Quite a bit of all of this is fluff…and I’m not allowed to say those kinds of things out loud wink

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/19/12 at 06:02 AM ET

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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.