The Detroit Red Wings are one of the most consistent teams in the NHL, and center Pavel Datsyuk is one of the league's most consistent players. It truly is a match made in heaven, and the partnership will last for at least four more years in all likelihood.
According to Datsyuk on Twitter, he has signed a three-year contract extension to remain in Detroit through the 2016-17 season. The deal locks him up for four years in all, as he still has one year remaining on his current contract.
The team also confirmed the deal on its official Twitter account.
His deal worth a total of $23 million will saddle Detroit with a $7.5 million cap hit per season, according to Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News.
Set to turn 35 on July 20, Datsyuk will be nearly 39 by the time his extension runs its course. A lot can happen over the course of four years, but he hasn't given the Red Wings organization any reason to believe that he is slowing down.
Datsyuk has always been a savvy player on both ends of the ice, and that is something that improves with age. Perhaps he'll never approach the 97-point seasons that he had in both 2007-08 and 2008-09, but he brings much more to the table than just scoring.
His true value is as a leader with big-game experience, as he has twice won the Stanley Cup in Detroit. Datsyuk is also a defensive stalwart, as evidenced by the three consecutive Frank J. Selke Trophies that he won from 2008 through 2010.
It can be argued that his best defense is his offense, since he is among the best puck-possession forwards in the game.
Datsyuk's play this season was a big reason why the Red Wings were able to continue their streak of reaching the playoffs in 22 straight seasons. He racked up 49 points in 47 games during the lockout-shortened regular season and added nine points in 14 postseason games.
Although the Red Wings were eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Hawks were on the ropes, trailing the series 3-1.
With Datsyuk remaining in the fold, the Red Wings should be a factor for at least the next few years.
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