I pose it as a question because I don't have a link to a printed source, but I've now heard this mentioned on tv twice. Once by NHLN and once by CBC. Both said that Datsyuk made a request to Babcock, with all the injuries, to keep Abdelkader on his line because Abs provides what Dats wants, and keeps it simple. If true, this sure makes a lot of those comments about Dats suffering/wanting to return to Russia/'surely upset and angry' seem quite silly.
Its also mentioned by Ken and Mickey on fsd
It's not so bad having 1 of Abs/Cleary, but both is just absurd. If the line was Z-Dats-Abs then it would have the Z-Dats-Homer effect, but with Cleary on the other Wing, it's just Mike Babcock pulling shenanigans with his lines.
This offseason will determine whether Ken Holland should still be employed with the Wings organization.
Please put Smith on the Power Play!