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Detroit fans, you can sleep easy now. Pavel Datsyuk is staying with the Red Wings.
The world’s best all-around player is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. He is among the best in every area of the game. He is an elite scorer, defender, face-off taker and penalty killer all in one. He is also the world’s smartest hockey player too, and that is noticed by all the players.
An NHL Players Association and Hockey Night in Canada player poll conducted last year showed just how highly other NHL players think of Datsyuk. The poll asked 250 players about their thoughts on various NHL players, and Datsyuk finished No. 1 in six different categories. (http://www.playerspoll.ca)
Datsyuk won heavily in categories such as smartest player, most difficult player to stop, toughest to take the puck away from and most difficult player to play against, among others. He also won these categories convincingly, beating out stars like Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.
Take a look at Datsyuk’s stats since the 2004-05 NHL lockout, when Datsyuk assumed a top role on the Red Wings:
In 570 games played since the 2004-05 lockout, Datsyuk has 613 points. His plus/minus is over 200, and he leads the total takeaway count since then by miles. In this time, he has also been the winner of three Selke trophies for best defensive forward, and has been nominated for the Selke six consecutive times.
The fact that this man has only been nominated for the Hart trophy once is a travesty. But him coming out and confirming that he wants to stay in Detroit is great news. He is an irreplaceable part of this team, and he will play a big role in the development of the young players coming up on Detroit.