This morning Pavel Datsyuk announced via his twitter account that he signed a 3 year extension with the Detroit Red Wings quieting speculation that he may return home to Russia to finish his Hockey career.
— Pavel Datsyuk (@Datsyuk13) June 18, 2013
Pavel Datsyuk was the last of the Red Wings core group of veterans to sign. Zetterberg, Howard, Kronwall and Datsyuk are locked up for at least the next 3 seasons. Datsyuk’s extension is for three years totaling 22.5 million. He will now be with the Wings through the 2016-17 season. Datsyuk began his Red Wing career in the 2001-2002 season on a high note by helping the Wings win the Stanley Cup. Ever since he has been one of the NHL’s top players and remains that way even at the age of 34.
The signing also may affect Valteri Filppula’s status with the Wings. Signing Pavel Datsyuk makes Filppula more expendable. The Red Wings have already been rumored to be interested in Florida Panther Center Stephen Weiss as a possible replacement for Filppula.
There is only one key free agent remaining, Damien Brunner. Damien Brunner was a key contributor in the stretch run and play-offs. Now that the Red Wings have locked up their veterans, look for Ken Holland and company to make Brunner a priority.