Pavel Datsyuk pulled a Lebron James to the extreme in the summer of 2016, deciding to go home – and leaving both the final year of his NHL contract and the only NHL team he’d ever played for, the Detroit Red Wings, behind in the process. The Red Wings even ended up dealing his contract out of the team’s system altogether; at the moment, the forward is *technically* a member of the Arizona Coyotes, were he playing in North America.
That won’t happen though – and since arriving back in Russia to play with SKA St. Petersburg, though, the veteran forward has fit right in.
Datsyuk, who put up 16 goals and 49 points in just 66 regular season games for Detroit in his final NHL season last year, scored his first goal in the KHL post-North American departure this week, finding the back of the net against former Boston Bruins backup goaltender Niklas Svedberg of UFA Salavat Yulaev.
Svedberg wasn’t the only former NHL connection in the Datsyuk goal, either. The player who fed the long-time Red Wings forward the puck in order to find the back of the net? None other than Ilya Kovalchuk, the polarizing ex-New Jersey Devils skater who left his own NHL contract behind to head back to Russia in the summer of 2013. Here’s a look at the goal:
Kovalchuk would finish the game with a hat trick and five points of his own, bringing his total for the season up to six points in two games and counting.