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Pavel Datsyuk signs three-year extension with Red Wings

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Pavel Datsyuk had 15 goals and 34 assists this season for Detroit. (USATSI)
Pavel Datsyuk had 15 goals and 34 assists this season for Detroit. (USATSI)

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There had been some speculation that Pavel Datsyuk might go to the KHL once his contract with the Red Wings expires after next season. You can put that speculation to rest.

Datsyuk's agent Gary Greenstin told Ansar Khan of MLive.com on Monday that "Me and [GM Ken Holland] and Pavel [are] very close" to a new contract extension for the dynamic Russian forward. How close?

The deal was announced by Datsyuk on Twitter on Tuesday (and also by the Wings).

Datsyuk will soon be 35 -- July 20 -- so a really long-term contract was out of the equation and anything they sign will be a 35-plus contract, meaning it will all count regardless of if he retires before its duration or not. But any investment they make to keep Datsyuk isn't a bad one, especially since the Wings have little concerns with the salaray cap for next season.

Which is good because Datsyuk's new deal is going to make him very rich. Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News says Greenstin informed him the contract is worth $23 million over the three seasons, and will have an annual hit of $7.5 million. You can see the actual salary breakdown here.

Remember, he has one more season left on his current contract that pays him $6.7 million, so the new contract wouldn't kick in until 2014-15.

Datsyuk still as electric and great of a player as always. He was once again a finalist for the Selke Trophy this season as the top defensive forward and also had 49 points in 47 games while treating fans to some of the best play-making ability in the league. That contract is expensive but worth every penny.

It's great news for the Red Wings and, to be honest, great news for NHL fans no matter the team because few players are as fun to watch as Datsyuk. If there were any doubts, this means he will probably retire a Red Wing, but perhaps there could be another extension when this contract is up, just depends how much longer he wants to play.

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