A source with the Red Wings confirmed with ESPN.com that this was a possibility the team anticipated but the Red Wings still hope to convince him to stay one more year after this season is concluded. The Red Wings are also open to a contract extension to keep him in Detroit beyond next season. If not, the Red Wings will explore all options to remove his contract from the books.
So maybe they could convince him to finish out his contract. The idea of a contract extension sounds foolish as it would just prolong a dead money cap hit.
As far as holding Pavel to the terms of his contract being "slavery" nothing could be further from the truth. Pavel is an adult who signed the contract of his own free will knowing the terms and implications of the deal. If going back to Russia was so important to him, he should have signed a shorter deal. Instead, he signed a 3 year deal after age 35 knowing that if he left it would be a dead money cap hit. The Red Wings enabled Pavel to become a very wealthy man and he repays that by possibly hamstringing them by leaving a year early. Holland deserves some blame as well of course. Disappointing.