Red Wings lock up Pavel Datsyuk
The Detroit Red Wings locked up one of the NHL's most dangerous offensive players by signing star centre Pavel Datsyuk to a seven-year contract worth $46.9-million US on Friday.
Datsyuk, who leads Detroit with 27 goals and 60 assists in 78 games this season, would have been eligible for free agency this summer.
Instead, the 28-year-old Russian sniper, who is earning $3.9 million this season,will remain in Detroit for years to come.
"Pavel is one of the world's most skilled players and has developed into a bona fide superstar over the past two seasons," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a statement.
"We think securing Pavel, who is moving into the prime of his career, is key to ensuring the long-term success of this franchise."
"Everyone in the organization wanted him to stay with us," added team owner Mike Ilitch.
Datsyuk led the Red Wings in scoring last season with 28 goals and 59 assists. He also won the Lady Byng Trophy as the league's most gentlemanly player.
He won the Stanley Cup during his rookie season with Detroit in 2001-02 and had a breakout campaign in 2003-04, with a career-high 30 goals.
"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 in a release. "This contract was extremely important to me. Especially since I have been a Red Wing since 2001."
Selected in the sixth round (171st overall) by the Red Wings in the 1998 draft, Datsyuk has 108 goals and 328 points in 362 career regular-season games for Detroit.