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Monday, September 05, 2005

Pavel Datsyuk signs with Avangard

Barnaby, Hardly Working

It is being reported by Soviet Sport that Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk, so far unable to complete his contract negotiations with the NHL club, could sign to play with Avangard Omsk of the Russian Super League within a day. Up 'til now, Datsyuk has been playing in the Russian pre-season with Dynamo Moscow while the negotiations with Detroit were ongoing. Here's how some of the Soviet Sport article reads, to the best of my meager translating abilities (which means, taking the jumbled mush that Babel Fish spits out and making coherent sentences out of it):

Datsyuk - In The "Advance Guard"?

Today it must be decided what Russian club will claim the best player in the Super League. As it has become known for "Soviet Sport", the most valuable player in Russia of the past season, Pavel Datsyuk, can continue his career not in Detroit, not with Dynamo, but in Omsk with the "Advance Guard" (Avangard). Yesterday evening, the player and his agent conducted negotiations with the Team President of Hawks ("Russian Hawks" is another nickname for Avangard Omsk). During the day yesterday, it became known that the position of Detroit is that the General Manager, Ken Holland, was inclined to the opinion that they cannot complete a deal with the best hockey player in the Super League this past season... The team can afford the money- this past season, Detroit were considered the richest club in the NHL- but they are limited to a wage ceiling of $39 million. Because of that, Holland maintains that the club cannot sign a contract of Pavel's worth in this year. The team will retain the rights to Datsuk for two more seasons, and the negotiations will continue in the following year. Also yesterday it became known that Datsyuk might not proceed just with an "insurance" contract (one that he can back out of), but a genuine contract with a Russian team.

To Datsyuk, it doesn't make sense to arrive at training camp in Detroit without a contract. Pavel is no novice, but one of the best forwards in the game, and has nothing to prove. But for him to wait one-and-a-half months, while the window in Russia is now open, does not also make sense. Pavel is close to his optimum playing form now, but a prolonged absence of play will take away from his preparation for the Olympics. In a press release given to all outlets of the North American media, which Soviet Sport was given on Thursday, the following statement was highlighted: "If, by the 5th of September, when the Russian season begins, if we do not have an agreement with Detroit, then we will play the entire season in the Super League." Datsyuk has an agreement with Dynamo, but the club has made a follow-up offer with less advantageous conditions. Thus, Avangard Omsk left a tempting contract proposal with Datsyuk's agent. There are also signs from Detroit that the NHL club hasn't given up on signing a contract with its most promising forward. The final confirmation of whether Datsyuk leaves the NHL to play with Avangard, or remains with Dynamo, won't be learned until tomorrow at 2:00pm Moscow time, when all claims in the Super League must be completed.

Update 9/5/05 2:14pm:
Datsyuk has put his signature on a contract with Avengard Omsk, according to this article ( "As reported by the news agency RIA on Monday in the press-service of professional hockey leagues (PKHL), the Omsk hockey club officially presented the signed contract with the player, who now can be declared for Avangard." The article states that Dynamo has 10 days to respond, though from reading the article I'm not sure why. It also isn't mentioned if there is an "out" clause in the contract for Datsyuk to be able to go back to the NHL this season, though I'm guessing that there isn't.


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9/5/05, 1:04 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

Wow-- speaking of "jumbled mush"...

9/5/05, 1:21 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

"It also isn't mentioned if there is an "out" clause in the contract for Datsyuk to be able to go back to the NHL this season, though I'm guessing that there isn't."

There is-- the Reuters story posted on TSN says that Datsyuk can get out of his contract with Omsk halfway through the season.

This story broke in the North American media a lot quicker that I'd figured. Already, I'm reading the typical "Russian players suck" comments on various blog sites and message boards around the country. People like that are prejudiced and don't have a clue. The lack of respect given Russian players by North American fans might be one reason why some Russian players would rather play in front of the more reverent fans in their homeland.

9/5/05, 3:37 PM

Blogger d-lee said...

You have a decent point, but Datsyuk can't get away with making idiotic comments like this:

"I think I am worth at least what (Dany) Heatley or (Joe) Thornton got from their deals," Datsyuk told the Russian media."

Please read my post at red and black hockey concerning this.

9/5/05, 5:29 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

Thanks for adding your perspective, d-lee.

That's a pretty good blog you've got there, by the way. I suggest that anyone who's reading this should check it out.

9/5/05, 5:34 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

Since it wouldn't hurt to present more than just my point of view regarding this story, one of the places I was referring to where Datsyuk is taking a real beating is in the comment string to this post on "Kukla's Korner".

9/5/05, 9:19 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

This was on Russian Hockey Digest this morning...

"Datsyuk signed a contract in Russia" (Soviet Sport: Sep 6th, 2005)

Today (September 5th) Pavel Datsyuk signed a contract in Russia. After a crazy week negotiating with Detroit, Pavel, surprisingly, signed a contract with Avangard from Omsk, not Dynamo Moscow.

Monday evening (Moscow time) Soviet Sport correspondent called a PHL (Professional Hockey League)'s representative Vladimir Gerasimov to clarify the situation regarding Datsyuk case.
V. Gerasimov: By the deadline Avangard Omsk provided a signed contract by Pavel Datsyuk. Now, according to the PHL's regulations Dynamo has ten days to repeat Avangard's offer. If Dynamo repeats the Avangard's offer, then Datsyuk would play in Dynamo. If they don't do so, then Datsyuk would remain in Avangard Omsk. So, as of present time Datsyuk is not listed in any official rosters of any team for the regular season, he's going to skip first two games of the regular season until the situation official clears.

After that, Soviet Sport correspondent called General Manager of Avangard Konstantin Potapov.
Konstantin Potapov: So far the situation is not officially solved all the way, so I refuse to comment it. I'm taking a pause for approximately ten days until the situation becomes official. Nevertheless, on Monday (Sep 5) Pavel departs to Omsk.

9/6/05, 10:10 AM

Blogger Brushback said...

On the Russian new site, they've re-printed some of the anti-Datsyuk venom that's being posted on, one of the Detroit Red Wings fan sites here in the States. It's almost funny, actually.

9/6/05, 10:58 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

Aha! It turns out that my original guess was correct, and Datsyuk's Advangard contract did not have an "out" clause. This is from the Detroit Free Press:

"Pavel Datsyuk... has no out clause with his new home team... Datsyuk has signed a one-year contract with Avangard Omsk of the Russian Super League, and it appears the contract is ironclad. General manager Ken Holland learned Tuesday that there is no out clause.."

Of course, there was more contract activity with Datsyuk on Wednesday, so what was known on Tuesday could be different now.

9/7/05, 8:37 PM


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