NHL Rumors: Red Wings to trade Pavel Datsyuk to Coyotes?

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 21: Pavel Datsyuk
TAMPA, FL - APRIL 21: Pavel Datsyuk /

The Detroit Red Wings could get Pavel Datsyuk’s contract off their books to try and make a play for Steven Stamkos.

Heading into this year’s playoffs, all the talk was centered on whether this would be the last time we’d see Pavel Datsyuk in a Detroit Red Wings jersey, despite the fact that he has one year left on his deal. After all, he’ll be 38 at the start of next season and there have already been reports suggesting that he’ll sign for the KHL next year.

However, there’s still a chance that he can play in the NHL, and there’s at least one team that’s willing to pay for his services:

It makes sense as to why they would be in play. Currently, their top line center is Antoine Vermette. Datsyuk may cost a lot, but General Fanager projects their end of season cap total to be at least $10 million under the limit, so they have more than enough space to take him on. And the Red Wings would rather deal him now than lose him for nothing in free agency.

There’s another good reason for why the Red Wings want to part ways with their star center:

Compared to Datsyuk, Stamkos is 12 years younger than him, and has a lot more to offer. Datsyuk’s cap hit is currently set at $7.5 million, and although Stamkos could command more than that on the open market, it won’t be much more, and he’ll be a worthwhile investment.

Datsyuk has served the Red Wings well over the past few years, having won two Cups with them. But he’s been struggling to stay healthy for the past few seasons, and the Red Wings need to do more than just make the playoffs every year and get eliminated in the first round.

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Granted, Stamkos had health problems this year too, but he’s a lot younger and a lot more dynamic than Datsyuk is right now. And given that his top suitor is their division rival Toronto Maple Leafs, the time is now for the Red Wings to make a play for Stamkos.

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