Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland still does not know where Pavel Datsyk will play the 2005-06 season.
On the day that Datsyuk and agent Gary Greenstin were supposed to announce their decision, the only statement they made was one declaring that they needed more time. No explanation was given for the delay.
“They just need more time to make their decision,” Holland said as he prepared for the Red Wings’ annual training camp. “Obviously my hope is he ends up in a Red Wing uniform. However long it takes, hopefully, eventually we’ll get a word saying he’s coming back.”
Last week Datsyuk reportedly signed a deal with Russian team Avangard Omsk. That deal was then matched by his former team, Dynamo Moscow. Datsyuk has not reported to either team and the details of the contracts are not available.
The Wings offered Datsyuk deals of $3.8 million per season for two and three years. Russian web site SovietSport.ru quoted Datsyuk as saying he should be paid the same as Joe Thornton, captain of the Boston Bruins. Thornton makes $6 million per season.
Detroit cannot make that kind of offer without going over the salary cap and Holland says the team wouldn’t make it anyway, as Datsyuk has not performed well enough in the playoffs.
“We are not negotiating,” Holland said.
The Red Wings will wait until Datsyuk makes his decision or until the December 1st deadline for signing restricted free agents passes. If Datsyuk is unsigned after that date, he will be ineligible for NHL play in the 2005-06 season. He would also become ineligible if he played in Russia after the October 5th start of the NHL season.