Wings GM: Datsyuk likely to return this week

DETROIT -- It looks like Pavel Datsyuk will play for the
Detroit Red Wings after all.

Pavel Datsyuk Datsyuk

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland indicated before
Detroit's preseason game Monday that Datsyuk likely will rejoin
the team some time in the coming week.

"I think he's coming back to Detroit, unless I get a major
curveball," Holland told reporters Monday. "My expectation is
that he's coming back by the weekend."

Datsyuk, 27, was involved in a contract dispute with the team
during the offseason. According to published reports, the
restricted free agent signed a one-year contract with Russian
club Avangard Omsk on Sept. 5.

Despite reportedly turning down a $5 million offer by Detroit,
Datsyuk has a clause in his Avangard contract which allows him
to leave for the NHL midway through the season.

Holland admitted he has not spoken with Datsyuk since Sept.
5 but did reveal that he has been in contact with the All-Star
center's agent, Gary Greenstin.

In 75 games with the Red Wings in 2003-04, Datsyuk scored a
team-high 30 goals with 38 assists.

Detroit's 1998 sixth-round pick, Datsyuk spent last season with
Dynamo Moscow. He joined Detroit in 2001-02 and helped the Red
Wings win the Stanley Cup in his rookie season.