During his career in Detroit, Pavel Datsyuk has won over the hearts of many fans.
Pavel carries a quiet demeanor and a vivacious leadership quality. He is a quiet assassin on the ice with uncanny smarts and is extremely tough to knock off his skates.
Datsyuk's trophy case is also full of accolades, with two Stanley Cups, four consecutive Lady Byng Trophies, three Selke Trophies among the highlights of his career.
He has done all of his in just 10 seasons in Hockeytown. Not bad for a player who just turned 34 years old on July 20.
Some players hit a wall when they approach age 35 in any sport. So far, Pavel has yet to show us that he is done by any stretch of the imagination.
Yet, the discussion is worth having as to how Datsyuk's career will be perceived in Hockeytown.
Will Pavel Datsyuk be enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame? YES
The facts I stated in the beginning of this article are just a small part of why Datsyuk will end up in hockey's hallowed halls. Another thing in Datsyuk's favor is the fact that, in 738 career NHL games, he has 718 total points. Being at or near point-per-game status in the new NHL seems worthy of an entry into the Hall.
Would Datsyuk be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when eligible? TOUGH TO SAY
While the hockey world knows what Datsyuk has accomplished, it will be tough to say if he gets in on the first ballot. It all depends on the players who retire the same year he does. He is more than likely a lock to be first ballot, but a bunch of factors could maybe see him out of the running. Winning a third Stanley Cup would be beneficial to Datsyuk becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Do the Detroit Red Wings decide to retire his number? YES
Currently, there are six retired numbers hanging in the rafters at Joe Louis Arena. While Nick Lidstrom is a lock for the seventh spot, it is very likely that Datsyuk would become the eighth member of that group.
Just take into account he will likely be a Red Wing for life. Winning seven individual trophy along with two Stanley Cups is quite legendary. I expect to see No. 13 sent to the rafters once Datsyuk hangs them up for good.
Does Pavel Datsyuk take a role within the organization? TOUGH TO SAY
I fully expect GM Kenny Holland to offer him a role within the organization. Whether Pavs takes that role is another story. He has done many great things for the Red Wings and will have once his career comes to an end.
The biggest problem with offering him a role is Datsyuk might be compelled to move back to Russia. He also could help scout and mold the new age of the Red Wings. It's up in the air at this point.
With a full season now in jeopardy, Datsyuk may have to wait another year to be able to chase a third Stanley Cup. In addition, he should be a lock for the Team Russia Hockey Roster in his native country in the 2014 Winter Olympics. There is a hope that Datsyuk can finally add Olympic Gold to his long list of accolades.
A gold medal would also add to the legacy of a truly stellar career from a player drafted in the sixth round of the NHL draft who has defied all odds to become Hockeytown's next legend.
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