Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Datsyuk signs with Detroit

We had a gun in the glovebox, we had some sweet stuff tucked into our socks

Pavel Datsyuk at the airport, on his way back to Detroit. Or it could just be an old photo of him in a Moscow bus station, waiting for the next bus to Novosibirsk.

From Soviet Sport, Sept. 21 (translated by Russian Hockey Digest):

Pavel Datsyuk: On Monday night we agreed on everything with Detroit. Am I satisfied? You know, there are unpleasant feelings left that everything went the way it did. I’m very sorry for Russian hockey fans. I wasn’t going to play on anybody’s feelings. But I didn’t expect that the situation would be so tense. Thanks to everyone who supported me. And, of course, thanks to Detroit management that they awaited me for two weeks since they made an offer to me. They showed that they hoped, counted on me and would like to see me in the lineup. When am I going to the US? I would like to arrive in Detroit by the end of the week, in order to adapt faster due to time-zone changes, and start preparing for the season.

Datsyuk was still without an official Russian contract while the dispute between Avangard and Dynamo remained stalled in arbitration, so Detroit was able to take advantage of that (without being in violation of Bettman's memo ordering the NHL clubs to stay away from players who are under contract with a Russian team) and get a deal done.