Pavel Datsyuk is expected to meet with the Detroit Red Wings when he returns to the United States for his Detroit-based hockey camp, and Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is hoping to have a decision whether the center will return to the team by the end of this month.
"I know Pavel is coming back to Detroit in the middle of June," Holland told The Detroit News on Tuesday. "He has a camp that week, and we're going to meet before that."
Datsyuk, who the Red Wings selected in the sixth round (No. 171) of the 1998 NHL Draft, said in April he would like to finish his career in his home country, Russia. But after the Red Wings season ended with a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round, Datsyuk said he would need more time to decide.
Datsyuk (one goal, 10 assists) helped Russia to a bronze medal in the 2016 IIHF World Championship in St. Petersburg and Moscow last month. His agent Dan Milstein confirmed the center was offered a contract by St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League in May. Milstein told the Detroit Free Press that Datsyuk "would like to leave, but … he would like to make sure the Wings have options."
Datsyuk, who will turn 38 on July 20, has one season remaining on a three-year, $22.5 million contract he signed with the Red Wings before the 2014-15 season. He has 918 points in 953 NHL games, all with Detroit. If he retires or plays in Russia, the Red Wings will be stuck with his $7.5 million salary cap charge for 2016-17.