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|6 апреля 2007 года.
Дацюк продлил контракт с «Рэд Уинз» еще на семь лет на сумму в $46.9 миллиона долларов.
Довольно продолжительные переговоры между «Детройт Рэд Уинз» и агентом Павла Дацюка наконец-то принесли плодотворные плоды – российский форвард подписал новый семилетний контракт с «красными крыльями» на общую сумму в $46.9 миллиона долларов ($6.7 миллиона за сезон).
«Мы очень хотели видеть Павла в форме «Рэд Уинз», - заявил генеральный менеджер «Детройта» Кен Холланд. «Мы верим в него. Мы верим, что он входит в десятку лучших центральных нападающих в мире. Ему только 28 лет и он может поднять свою игру на еще более высокий уровень».
«Этот контракт был очень важен для меня. Особенно если учитывать то, что я играю за «Детройт» с 2001 года», - сказал сам Дацюк, который после неудачного старта сезона, набрал ход и сейчас является лучшим бомбардиром команды с 87 очками (27+60). Всего в 362 матчах НХЛ на его счету 108 заброшенных шайб и 220 точных передач.
В этом году Павел зарабатывает $3.9 миллиона долларов и предстоящим летом мог бы получить статус свободного неограниченного агента. Именно этот факт породил огромное количество слухов ухода Дацюка из Детройта, хотя сам хоккеист ни раз заявлял, что покидать «Рэд Уинз» не собирается.
7 апреля 2007 года.
DETROIT -- The Red Wings weren't going to lose Pavel Datsyuk this summer.
Identifying Datsyuk, 28, as a huge part of their future, the Wings signed Datsyuk to a seven-year contract Friday worth $46.9 million ($6.7 million per season).
"We wanted to keep Pavel in a Red Wings uniform," general manager Ken Holland said. "We believe in him. We believe he's one of the top 10 centermen in the game. At the age of 28, why can't he take it to another level?"
There was plenty of speculation Datsyuk was headed out of Detroit, that he wanted to play with another team.
There was fear salary-cap restrictions were going to handcuff the Wings.
And who can forget Brett Hull's baseless comments on national television last weekend, that Datsyuk and coach Mike Babcock didn't get along and Datsyuk wanted to leave.
The so-called rift doesn't exist, Babcock and Datsyuk said.
But, most importantly, the Wings certainly didn't want lose Datsyuk.
The front office went over it often. Holland had numerous discussions with senior vice president Jimmy Devellano, vice president Steve Yzerman, assistant general manager Jim Nill and consultant Scotty Bowman.
"Everyone in the organization wanted him to stay with us," owner Mike Ilitch said.
Datsyuk's good, but the Wings believe he will get better. And not just in the regular season, where he has been particularly impressive this season (27 goals and 60 assists for 87 points, tying a career high), but in the playoffs, where Datsyuk's troubles are well-documented.
Over 42 playoff games, Datsyuk has three goals and 12 assists. He hasn't scored a goal in his last 24.
Against Edmonton last season, Datsyuk returned from a severe charley horse for Game 2 of the series, after unable to play the last couple of weeks of the regular season.
But the Wings thought if they had advanced past the Oilers, Datsyuk was about to excel. He was getting healthier, he was beginning to flourish offensively.
"If Pavel just plays the way he can play, like he has lately, the production will come as a result of him doing all the little things he can do," said Yzerman, a teammate of Datsyuk's the past four seasons before Yzerman retired last summer.
"He plays in all areas of the game. He'll only get better. He's too good of a player."
Holland said getting the deal done before the playoffs wasn't a big factor on the Wings' side.
"Pavel is a driven player, he brings it every game," Holland said.
For his part, Datsyuk seemed relieved the process was over.
Reading from a prepared statement, Datsyuk thanked the organization, teammates and coaches, and fans for their support throughout his career.
"This was contract was extremely important to me," he said. "Especially since I have been a Red Wing since 2001.
"I would like to thank my former and present teammates with who I share the ice. I am honored to continue playing with this great organization."
"Pavel loves the organization, the city, the Red Wings," Gary Greenstin, Datsyuk's agent, said. "This is where he wants to stay."
The length and amount of the contract raised many eyebrows Friday.
But with the salary cap now firmly in the NHL landscape, and the age of prospective free agents dropping, teams are signing young players to lengthy contracts.
The Wings signed Niklas Kronwall to a five-year contract earlier this season. Tampa Bay has secured its core of Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis to a minimum of five-year deals.
"You're going to see more of it around the league," Holland said.
With the salary cap expected to rise next season to close to $50 million, the Wings are mildly gambling that Datsyuk's contract will eat a smaller percentage of the pie by the end of the deal.
"We feel Pavel is a big part of our future," Holland said.
They weren't going to lose him. Pavel Datsyuk was going to remain a Red Wing, and Friday the organization made sure of it.