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Datsyuk, Red Wings delay meeting: report

Sides reschedule out of respect for Howe services @NHLdotcom

The scheduled meeting between center Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings has been delayed a week to pay respects to Gordie Howe, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.

Datsyuk and Red Wings general manager Ken Holland were scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the player's future.

Funeral services for Howe, who died Friday at age 88, are to be held Wednesday, after a public viewing at Joe Louis Arena is held Tuesday.

Datsyuk's agent, Dan Milstein, told the newspaper that the meeting "will be pushed back to next week so Pavel, Ken and I can pay respect to Gordie and attend his funeral, scheduled for Wednesday."

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Datsyuk has one year remaining on his contract but is expected to return to Russia and not play in the NHL next season. Milstein has confirmed Datsyuk was offered a contract by St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League in May but told the newspaper Datsyuk "would like to leave, but … he would like to make sure the Wings have options" regarding the NHL salary cap.

Datsyuk, who turns 38 on July 20, has one season remaining on a three-year, $22.5 million contract he signed before the 2014-15 season. If he retires or plays in Russia, the Red Wings will be charged his $7.5 million against the salary cap.

Datsyuk is returning to Detroit on Tuesday, Milstein said. A decision was expected in mid-June but now may be delayed until before the NHL Draft, which begins June 24 in Buffalo.

A sixth-round pick (No. 171) in the 1998 NHL Draft, Datsyuk has 918 points in 953 NHL games, all with Detroit.

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