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Wings sign Datsyuk to 7-year deal

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- Red Wings general manager Ken Holland today announced the team has signed center Pavel Datsyuk to a seven-year contract. In keeping with club policy, specific terms of the deal are not available.

Datsyuk, 28, is one of the National Hockey League's most electrifying players and has been the Red Wings' most productive player over the last two seasons. He led the Wings in scoring in 2005-06 with 28 goals and 59 assists for 87 points, and is currently leading the team in points -- collecting 27 goals and 60 assists for 87 points through 78 games.

"Pavel is one of the world's most skilled players and has developed into a bona fide superstar over the past two seasons," Holland said. "We think securing Pavel, who is moving into the prime of his career, is key to ensuring the long-term success of this franchise."

As the Red Wings head into their final game of the regular-season, Datsyuk has already established new career-highs in assists (60) and games played (78). Since 2005-06, Datsyuk ranks seventh in the NHL in assists (119), 12th in points per game (1.14) and 13th in points (174). Datsyuk has played all 362 of his NHL games in a Red Wings uniform.

"I am very pleased to announce that I am continuing my hockey career with the Detroit Red Wings by signing a seven-year contract," Datsyuk said. "This contract was extremely important to me. Especially since I have been a Red Wing since 2001."

A five-year veteran of the NHL, Datsyuk won the Stanley Cup in his first season in the League (2001-02). He had a breakout season in 2003-04, scoring a career-high 30 goals on his way to his first NHL All-Star Game selection. In 2005-06, Datsyuk won the Lady Byng Trophy and represented Russia in the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Statements from Pavel Datsyuk regarding the signing:"Thank you to all the Red Wings fans for supporting me through the years. Red Wings fans are the best fans in the world."

"I would like to thank my former and present teammates with who I share the ice. I am honored to continue playing with this great organization. I would also like to thank all the coaching staff, starting from the very beginning of my career to present."

"A big thank you to Mr. Ilitch, Mr. Devellano, Ken Holland, Jim Nill and Steve Yzerman. I would especially like to thank Gary Greenstin, my agent and friend."
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