Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk made good on his promise to sign elsewhere if the Red Wings did not make him an acceptable offer by Monday, announcing that he had agreed to a one-year deal with Avangard Omsk.
The 27-year-old All-Star is a restricted free agent, meaning that the Red Wings still retain his NHL rights. If another NHL team were to sign Datsyuk, they would forfeit a package of draft picks to Detroit based on Datsyuk’s salary.
Datsyuk had previously been rumored to have been asking for a $5 million deal. Reportedly Detroit offered that amount but the Russian is now asking for $6 million.
“I think I am worth at least what (Dany) Heatley or (Joe) Thornton got from their deals,” Datsyuk told the Russian media.
Ironically, Heatley signed with the Ottawa Senators for only $4.5 million per season. Thornton’s deal with the Boston Bruins is reportedly worth more than $6.5 million.
There is an escape clause in Datsyuk’s contract with Avangard, allowing him to leave the team for the NHL midway through the season.