Former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk is a champion once again, though this time not in the NHL.
SKA Saint Petersburg defeated Metallurg in the KHL finals, four games to one over the weekend. Although Datsyuk did not dress for game five, he did participate for the on-ice celebrations where the team was awarded the Gagarin Cup. This was the team’s second championship in the last three years.
SKA Saint Petersburg features multiple former NHL All-Stars, including Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, and two-time Stanley Cup champion defenseman Slava Voynov. In 44 games this season, Datsyuk scored 12 goals to compliment 22 assists. In seven playoff games, Datsyuk scored 4 goals and 5 assists.
In 953 career NHL games, Datsyuk scored 314 goals (8th overall in Red Wings History) with 604 assists (5th overall in Red Wings history). He came into the league during the 2001-02 season as a rookie and went on to win the Stanley Cup in that same year. He quickly become known as one of the most creative players the NHL had ever seen, being known for his acute two-way play on the ice. Datsyuk won the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times in his career, which is awarded to the league’s top defensive forward.