37-Year-Old Center – Detroit Red Wings
Pavel Datsyuk Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $22.5 million contract extension with the Red Wings in June 2013.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has given Datsyuk a deadline of mid-June to decide whether he'll return next season, The Detroit News reports.
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Pavel Datsyuk: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
A knee injury plagued Datsyuk in the middle of 2013-14, and limited him to only 45 games. He did score 37 points and was one of the few players to play well in the playoffs for Detroit, but the Magic Man is 36 and the team has to hope his body isn't starting to give. When healthy, he displayed his usual wizardry, and Detroit may give him a few more games off this season to preserve him down the stretch. Datsyuk should be good for about a point a game if he can stay healthy. As one of the elite players in the NHL, he will go early, but drafters should be cognizant that they may not get a full season out of him.
The 35-year-old "Magic Man" Datsyuk has shown no sign of slowing with age, as he had another spectacular season in 2012-13. He was a Selke Trophy finalist, was plus-21 and scored 49 points in 47 games. If he stays healthy, he has the potential for an even bigger season in 2013-14, as the addition of Stephen Weiss provides the Red Wings the opportunity they've always wanted: to put Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on the same line full time. Expect at least 75 points from Datsyuk and another solid fantasy season.
Around minor knee surgery and a wrist injury, Datsyuk turned in another strong campaign and was a finalist for the Selke Award thanks to his excellent two-way play. Even when you consider that he missed 12 games during the regular season, Datsyuk's 19 goals were a disappointment and the lowest total he's delivered since 2002-03. If his shooting trends hold up (2.3 shots/game last season), it's dificult to envision a scenario where he will push his way back to previous 30-goal levels. The Wings were targeting a sniper in free agency to ride shotgun on Datsyuk's line, but the efforts came up short and he may have a difficult time exceeding a point-per-game pace as a result.
A wrist injury limited Datsyuk to 56 games last season and even prevented him from taking faceoffs after his return down the stretch and during the postseason. Around the injury, Datsyuk delivered more than a point per game for the fifth time in six seasons. At press time, there were whispers that he still was not 100 percent recovered from the injury, but if his postseason numbers are any indication (4 G, 11 A in 11 games), he can still be an offensive force without his contributions in the faceoff circle. Wings head coach Mike Babcock once again paired Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on the same line in the playoffs, but that situation figures to be fluid at even strength. Regardless of his linemates, Datsyuk is capable of another 80-point campaign provided that his wrist injury is ultimately behind him.
Much like teammate Henrik Zetterberg, Datsyuk's numbers suffered with the lack of secondary scoring options on the Wings' roster this season which was only exacerbated by Johan Franzen's torn ACL. It wasn't all bad, however, as Datsyuk still carried a respectable plus-17 rating while reaching the 70-point mark in 80 games. With improved depth at a center, head coach Mike Babcock is planning on starting the season with Zetterberg and Datsyuk on the same line. Both players should see a rebound in their production if the tandem stays together for the better part of the 82-game slate and Datsyuk should still be considered a threat for 90-plus points.
For the second straight season, Datsyuk tallied 97 points (32 G, 65 A) while showing off a more complete game at the defensive end of the rink by ranking third in the league with a plus-34 rating. His ascension to elite fantasy status has been founded on a willingness to fire more shots than he did earlier in his career. Over the last two seasons, he's averaged 3.17 shots per game compared to a 1.79 mark over his first five NHL campaigns. Datsyuk suffered a fracture in his foot while blocking a shot against Chicago in the Western Conference finals, but he's expected to be healthy for the start of training camp. The Red Wings haven't had a 100-point scorer since Sergei Fedorov (1995-96), but at 31, Datsyuk is in the middle of his prime and should again threaten to break that streak this time around as a key cog in Detroit's offensive machine.
Datsyuk brought a new piece of hardware home during the offseason, picking up his first career Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward. Despite a relative lack of size (5-11, 197), Datsyuk has evolved into a more physical player, while silencing critics with his strong showing in the postseason with 23 points in 22 games along with a plus-13 rating. As fantasy pivots go, few are better than Datsyuk, given the abundance of talent he’s got in his supporting cast and the consistent levels of production he’s provided. Over the last three seasons, Datsyuk has averaged over 28 goals and 61 assists, while there’s little reason to think that he won’t roll up another 90 points this time around.
He's getting more confident and assertive in his offensive game, and more willing to shoot the puck. And life without Henrk Zetterberg on his line, at least to start? We're not worried. Datsyuk and any two Joes makes a good line these days. Get comfortable, these are the peak years.
He’s shifty and creative, to a fault at times – Datsyuk will often hold the puck too long and pass when he should shoot. He’s a little on the streaky side, as well. But at the end of the day this is one of the most skilled centers in the league, and someone who’s coming off a nifty breakout year (28-59-87). If the coaching staff can convince Datsyuk to throw the puck on net a bit more, he’ll make a run at 90-100 points.
Honk if you have a contract signed by Datsyuk as of September 2005. Fortunately for the Red Wings they were the last team standings, so Datsyuk will be dashing around for them this winter, not for the Moscow Dynamo or Avangard Omsk. The new rules should fit Datsyuk perfectly, and as a result a run at 90 points or more could be in the offing. Fun to watch, fun to own.