Datsyuk’s Final Goodbye (?)

Last night the Tampa Bay Lighting completed the 4-1 series victory over the Detroit Red Wings winning Game 5 by the score of 1-0. With just under two minutes remaining in the game, Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek misplayed a puck behind his own net and it led to tap in goal for Killorn and the Lightning took the lead and eventually the win. Detroit lacked the ability to capitalize and finish, especially on the power play. It has been that way the whole series. Detroit converted on just 4% of their power plays , thats 1 for 25, in the five games played. They had a multitude of scoring chances that either were denied by Bishop or flat out missed the net. They played tough all five games and could have easily won 4 of the 5 if they could have gotten some bounces or converted just some of their chances. The reality is Tampa came to play, especially when it counted late in the third periods.

Another very sad reality is that we may have witnessed the final game for one of the best players of this generation and a sure Hall of Famer. Pavel Datsyuk has made it evident that this might have been his final season, saying he would like to move back to Russia and be with his family. Although, he has said recently “he is not quite sure about his decision and he needs some time to think about it” (Not encouraging words for Detroit fans). It sounds to me that his heart is back in Russia with his family and that he will most likely retire. If this is true, and he does decide to retire, he will have played over 1000 games for Red Wings if you include his playoff career. There he was able to win two Stanley Cups, one in his rookie year and the other in 2008. In the 2008 playoffs, he put up 23 points and had 10 goals as he helped the Wings hoist the Cup for the 11th time in franchise history. In total, he played 953 regular season games and racked up 918 points. This number puts him 3 points ahead of Bobby Orr on the all-time career points list. The “Magic Man” has made his living on the highlight tape and even at age 37 has some of the best hands in the NHL (see below). His attitude and work ethic were something to be proud of as a Wings fan and it truly won’t be the same without him. There is a slight chance he might return for his final year that remains on his contact. If he were to retire, that would leave a large chunk, about $7.5 million of wasted cap space for Detroit to eat next year. He must weigh that into his decision and he certainly is aware of the impact that his decision might have on the team he loves.

If he does decide to leave, I wish him the best of luck. I’m honored he was able to wear the red and white for so many years. If he does decide to return, I know myself and all Detroit fans would love to have him back.

Thank you Pavel.

Sincerely,

Detroit fans everywhere

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