Datsyuk will wear Salei’s #24 on his back during the preseason this year, rather than the #13 he’s worn since making the Detroit roster ten years ago. The temporary number switch was announced via the Red Wings’ official Twitter account minutes before Datsyuk stepped onto the ice for the team’s first practice.
The team later tweeted a photo of Datsyuk in the #24.
Salei was among 44 people killed in the September 7 crash of KHL team Yaroslavl Lokomotiv’s chartered plane. Included in that group were former Wings’ prospect Stefan Liv and former Red Wing Brad McCrimmon.