MOSCOW, July 19 (R-Sport) – CSKA Moscow missed the chance to sign Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk for the 2014-15 season, the KHL team's general manager told R-Sport on Friday.
Sergei Fedorov, himself a former NHL star with 1,248 appearances from 1990 through 2009, said he sat down with Datsyuk just days before he inked a three-year extension with Detroit last month.
"Unfortunately for us, Pavel extended his contract with Detroit," Fedorov said. "I had a meeting with him a few days before the signing. We had the chance to get Pavel in a year's time, but as a person who knows what the NHL is all about, I understand perfectly well why he did what he did," Fedorov said.
"He said: 'I want to grow as a player and I think that for me the best option is to stay in the NHL.'"
Datsyuk has been in Detroit since 2001, when he won the Stanley Cup in his rookie season, and will be 38 when the new deal ends. His new contract will start when his current seven-year, $46.9 million contract finishes at the end of next season.
The Yekaterinburg-born player has scored 255 goals and 512 assists in 779 NHL games, all of them for the Red Wings, lifting the Stanley Cup in 2002 and 2008. He is also a four-time recipient of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, a prize that rewards playing skill and sportsmanship.
Datsyuk is likely to be a key member of the Russian attack at next year's Winter Olympics, as he continues his search to better the bronze medal he won with Russia in Salt Lake City in 2002. He was part of the Russian team that won last year's world championships.