I mean, he kind of is.
Don't forget Abby. That cradle-to-grave contract indicates the team believes he is essential to the team's future success.
Last year when we were on a tear without datsyuk and then when abs went down the team looked deflated. He's more vital to the success of the team than most would ever give him credit for. That and he's going to be expected to bridge the gap between the greatness of the legends with the kids. Which is important.