Former Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk agreed to a two-year contract with SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League on Friday, the Detroit Free Press reported.
With a desire to return to his native Russia, Datsyuk announced his retirement from the NHL on June 18 after playing 953 game in the League, all with the Red Wings. His contract had one year remaining with an average annual value of $7.5 million, ahd he was traded to the Arizona Coyotes at the 2016 NHL Draft.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for what Pavel has done for our team," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press. "He's been a great Red Wing. We wanted him to be in Detroit longer, but I understand where Pav is coming from."
Datsyuk had 918 points (314 goals, 604 assists) over a 14-year career with Detroit. He helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2002 and 2008.