At some point, you have to let go of a player. We are incredibly lucky as hockey fans to be loaned daily access to fantastically-talented athletes over the courses of their tenures with our favorite teams, but one-team guys are rare, and when they leave (or retire), they’re no longer “yours.”
So I’ve let go of Pavel Datsyuk. Pavel missed some of last season while skating for his hometown team, Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, in the KHL, and, at 41, he looked to finally be succumbing to the double-whammy of age and injuries.
Datsyuk’s been a KHL’er for five years now, and Sportnset’s Luke Fox noted that Datsyuk is still going at 42…And he’s experienced a renaissance of sorts, at least in the points category, a year after Datsyuk battled his way through an ankle injury:
Pavel Datsyuk found the net in his 250th career KHL game this week and already has three points in the three games for Yekaterinburg Automobilist.
Incredible. At age 42, he can still conjure magic.
These Tweets come courtesy of Fox, and they make me nostalgic for the days when “Pavel and Hank” were the “Eurotwins,” not playing in Central Russia and running a sandwich shop in southern Sweden, respectively.
🚨 Pavel Datsyuk— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) September 8, 2020
3-0 Yekaterinburg pic.twitter.com/SKRXmjCdgA
I also thought of Datsyuk when Nathan MacKinnon won the Lady Byng trophy for his gentlemanly play last night, and I guess I’m just a bit wistful today. Datsyuk hasn’t been a Red Wing for a long time, and things are just different now. For the Red Wings, for Red Wings player personnel, for their fans, and in the world.
So we move on, but we can always smile when we think about the days when we were graced with players’ immediate presence.