In the offseason, I heard a lot of talk that the time of the 42-year-old striker Pavel Datsyuk is over. Say, Datsyuk is not the same for a long time and there is simply no point in continuing his career. Yes, sometimes an athlete is really tormented by old chronic injuries. They began not now and not last year, but during the performance in the NHL for Detroit. But the center forward would still return to the ice and return to his previous level.
In the KHL, the forward has been playing for the fifth season in a row. As part of SKA, Datsyuk won the Gagarin Cup, and then, as he wanted, returned to his native Yekaterinburg. Moreover, the player has not been chasing after money for a long time. If last year he received a solid salary (about 100 million rubles), then after the introduction of a hard cap on salaries, Datsyuk became almost the last one to sign a new contract with Avtomobilist. The thing is that the hockey player was waiting for the club to conclude agreements with other players, after which the striker simply signed up for the amount that remained under the team’s ceiling (15 million rubles).
Datsyuk, by the way, is a member of the Triple Golden Club. That is, he won the Stanley Cup, the World Championship, and the Olympic Games. Just imagine how much motivation and love for hockey is needed to keep playing and not be satisfied with what has already been achieved. Moreover, Datsyuk not only plays, but wins matches for Avtomobilist and gives a head start to the youth.
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So, hitting the goal of Kunlun, Datsyuk became one of the oldest hockey players who scored in the KHL regular championships. At the time of the goal, the legendary striker was 42 years and 50 days old. Thus, he overtook Oleg Petrov, who distinguished himself at the age of 41 years and 265 days, and took the third place in the list of the oldest players to hit the opponents’ goal. In second place on the list is Sergey Fedorov ( 42 years and 100 days), the first line belongs to Vyacheslav Kozlov (42 years and 254 days).
“If not for his love of the game, Datsyuk would have ended his career long ago, but at the same time he would not have achieved the success that is in his biography.
From the very beginning of his career, Pavel’s enormous talent was visible, but he never tried to leave only at his expense, always demonstrating hard work and a professional attitude to work. This is what allows him, even at his current age, to be useful to his team and work wonders on the ice, “said the master of the domestic coaching department Vladimir Krikunov in an interview with his colleagues from Izvestia.
A big plus for Datsyuk was the appointment of the Canadian specialist Bill Peters as the head coach of Avtomobilist. At one time, Peters worked as an assistant to Mike Babcock at Detroit. In fact, he learned the craft of coaching from him. Now Bill has moved to Russia, but he has maintained a good warm relationship with Datsyuk, who played at Detroit. It was rumored that the striker personally lobbied the interests of the coach in Yekaterinburg, but it is hard to believe in this. Yes, Datsyuk could put in a word, but nothing more.
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By the way, all these conversations have been going on for a long time. Someone calls Pavel almost a playing general manager of the club. But the hockey player is not yet drawn to managerial functions, as he shows himself in full glory on the ice.
“Can Datsyuk stay in the club for some position? It is difficult to talk about such topics. Staffing issues in management positions are the prerogative of the president of the club. Only Pavel himself can talk about his plans for the future, ”said Avtomobilist director Maksim Ryabkov, answering journalists’ questions.
In the future, Pavel Datsyuk may well take a leading position in the Yekaterinburg club, why not? If, of course, the star forward himself wants to associate his future life with managerial responsibilities. In the meantime, Datsyuk continues to create on ice. He has five matches in which he scored 5 (1 + 4) points for performance with a usefulness index of “+8”. Perhaps this is the best answer to all critics and ill-wishers.