After Moscow Dynamo and Avangard Omsk got into an apparent battle royale over Pavel Datsyuk, the little punk has decided to come back to the Red Wings after all. The whole Russia thing looked very dirty to me, and I have no idea what his motivation is for coming back to the USA, but I can guess fear. He was at the center of a very heated mob war, and may have feared for his life. I know that some of you will insist that the money is clean, but I refuse to believe that there isn't any mafia involvement. There are documented cases of mafia involvement in the Russian SuperLeague, and I would be very surprised if this was totally clean. Just one thing, Pavel. Make sure your family is safe. Your departure will probably make the mob bosses very angry.
This story on tsn.ca doesn't indicate any numbers, but the last offer the Wings made was for $3.8M, which in my opinion is too much. I'm imagining that they've raised the bar to entice him back, which is completely insane. On thing's for certain, though. He won't be getting $6M or more, and it won't be tax-free.
I'd love to know the real reason behind this. The other day, Dave, over at the great site sidearm delivery posted a story about this. The story indicated that Datsyuk was upset that the teams were fighting over him, and that he didn't want to go to an arbitration hearing. Does sidearm delivery speak Russian?
I wonder if he will be respected in Hockeytown. After all the pouting, the ultimatum, the departure, then the "oh, I was just kidding". If I was a RedWings fan, I would want to hate him, but I would probably also welcome him back. Lucky for me, I'm predisposed to hate RedWings anyway. Except of course when they had Brett Hull. You can't hate that guy.
4 years ago