WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Pavel Datsyuk is leaving the Detroit Red Wings with a year left on his contract, saying it’s time to return home and play in the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League.
The 37-year-old Datsyuk announced his plans Saturday at a news conference at his youth hockey camp in the Detroit area. The move was not a huge surprise. Toward the end of the season, he was quoted in a Detroit Free Press story saying he would retire from the NHL, but Datsyuk later told reporters there was a chance he could change his mind.
He said Saturday his final decision came when he was on vacation with his family recently.
Datsyuk, a native of Sverdlovsk, Russia, says he intends to play in the KHL. He did not say for how much longer.