My guess is a player of his caliber can easily play until 40, retire from the NHL, and then go onto play in the KHL for a few more years. Heck if really wanted to I bet he could play in the NHL until he's 43, but that probably won't happen.
Absolutely no reason for him to jump ship at 34 when he'll still have 6+ NHL caliber years left in him. He said he wants to finish his career in Russia, not play his last 9 years there.
Yes, and Lidstrom could have easily played until he was 48, if anyone could do that, he could. He trains as hard as Chelios did. But, and this is fact, he didn't see the team getting better and he wanted to retire before it got ugly. He also didn't want to go through another lockout. Dats could play into his 40's, but why would he do that if the GM fails to make the team better? Holland not only has to make this team better, but he has to make Datsyuk want to play here. Which means cut ties with average washed up players and get some high powered scoring in here. I understand the injuries, but putting Bert back on Dats wing is not going to make us Cup contenders. Holland has this off season to lure Dats to stay for a few more years. Holland is on the spot starting right now....here is what we know of Holland right now:
failed to replace Hossa's scoring, failed to replace Rafalski, failed to replace Stuart, failed to replace Lidstrom....did he try? we think he did, but when he loses Datsyuk and doesn't have a game plan to stop that bleeding, he is in deep doo-doo. He needs to have that plan in effect right now. He didn't have it for Lids because he figured that Lids would not retire now, not after another Norris season, he wouldn't leave the...the...The Mighty Red Wings would he? Well Kenny, he did, and you dropped the ball and should have had a plan. Instead you just assumed that Ryan Suter would come here because, well because we are the...the...The Mighty Red Wings! He wouldn't say no to us would he? How dare he!
The best way to keep Datsyuk around is to ice a winning team with the best players you can get. Even then, that is no guarantee, but if you stick with Bertuzzi and Sammy and Cleary....kiss Pavel goodbye.
so in your world 0 is great than 1? Interesting...... Sorry but that is how dynastys die. If datsyuk is worth say 3 #1 picks now, and becomes worth only 1 because he is gone after 1 year, take the pick. You have a 63% chance of getting a guy that will be a career NHL player. That is better than nothing.
Honestly, I don't trust Kenny with 3 #1 picks...I'd rather keep Datsyuk and take my chances with him leaving. Besides, if he does leave after next year, we'll have our own top 5 #1 pick for a few years in a row!