Datsyuk turns down contract offer from the Wings

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 8:11 AM ET

It looks like Pavel Datsyuk's gamble won't pay off.

The Red Wings forward, who is making $3.9 million (all terms US) this season and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, turned down a long-term offer from GM Ken Holland in the off-season.

Thumbed nose at deal

While indications are the Wings offered him a deal that would have paid him more than $5 million a season to make him a centrepiece of the organization, Datsyuk thumbed his nose at it.

The word is Datsyuk is seeking between $6 million and $7 million a year on a new contract, so Holland decided to call off any further talks until after the season.

This is where the decision might hurt Datsyuk: Through the first quarter of the season, he is on pace for about 50 points and that means the big payday he is seeking might not come to fruition.

Sure, Datsyuk was a big scorer in the past, but this is a "what have you done for me lately?" business and a poor season could hurt his value.

Holland is watching the situation closely.

Datsyuk has been working hard, but the puck hasn't gone in the net.

The Wings aren't ready to trade Datsyuk because they'd like to sign him, but if he keeps going at his current pace, he might not get the payday he expected.

NOTEBOOK

A league executive told the Sun yesterday that the NHL needs to re-examine the rules surrounding the salary cap because player movement is so limited. The executive said there should be exceptions to allow teams to pick up half of players' salary without going through re-entry waivers. The executive believes that half of the salary should not count against the cap. "They need to find a way to promote movement," he said. "Trade talk helps promote interest in the game from the fans. You get people talking about the game and that's what you want." ... St. Louis president John Davidson has called the NHL because he believes Detroit owner Mike Illitch was in the officials room between periods of the Blues-Wings game Thursday. "We think as an organization that was wrong," said Davidson. "A Hall of Fame owner decides to have conversation with the officials during the game. It's our opinion that's not right." ... Don't look now, but Boston D Zdeno Chara is starting to look like a Norris Trophy candidate again ... Mary Shaw, the wife of former Senators captain Brad Shaw, has released her 11th book: It's called Brady, Brady and the Cranky Kicker.

AROUND THE BOARDS: Senators LW Peter Schaefer, fined $2,500 by the league, is going to have to watch his step. Referees weren't impressed with his towel-waving antics the other night in Washington and they'll be watching him closely. He's not going to get any breaks from the officials ... There are whispers Vancouver GM David Nonis might be in trouble ... Washington G Olaf Kolzig would like to see NHL governors opt for more interconference play. "Everybody needs to see everybody. Teams out here in the East don't see a lot of the Western stars and the Eastern people don't see the Western stars," said Kolzig. "There's something about playing in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Dallas, Colorado and Anaheim. It's just different that playing in Raleigh or Sunrise four times a year."

SLAP SHOTS: Florida LW Todd Bertuzzi, recovering from back surgery, isn't close to returning. He was given clearance to skate last week, but wasn't on the ice long and won't be back for another 4-8 weeks ... The NHL sent a fax to the 30 board of governors asking them to vote on Blackberry magnate Jim Balsillie's ownership of the Penguins. It's expected to be completed today ... Philly C Peter Forsberg, troubled by foot problems, is shelved again. He threw his skates across the room after the morning skate Friday in New Jersey and won't play in at least the next four games. "I'm frustrated," said Forsberg, who just spent two days with a foot specialist in Arizona. "I want to be out there." Talk of Forsberg retiring at the end of the season continues to grow.

RUMOURS DU JOUR: Toronto GM John Ferguson, with his club in the throws of a six-game losing skid going into last night's game vs. Detroit, has been working the phones. The name of underachieving LW Chad Kilger has surfaced while the club isn't completely pleased with C Matt Stajan, either. Ideally, the Leafs would like to add offence, but they're not alone in that department. Nonis has been desperately trying to find some help, too ... The Flames have mild interest in Flyers LW Kyle Calder. Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon has also made a call, but he's more interested in trying to find a centre for returning RW Martin Havlat ... There's talk St. Louis coach Mike Kitchen might be fired. Former Kings coach Andy Murray would be considered a top candidate if it happens. Part of the problem is the Blues can't make many on-ice changes because Ws Martin Rucinsky, Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin all have no-trade clauses ... Habs LW Sergei Samsonov could be on the move. His Boston-based agent, Neil Abbott, was in Montreal last week and it's believed he met with GM Bob Gainey. Samsonov hasn't been happy with his role ... Any truth to talk Phoenix actually expressed interest in Ottawa G Martin Gerber a couple of weeks ago? The talk is the Coyotes wanted the Senators to take G Curtis Joseph in return because Phoenix was going to be on the hook for two more years at $3.7 million (all terms US) per season ... Don't believe this stuff about the Canucks trying to trade LW Markus Naslund. An executive said the only players who could be on the move in Vancouver are C Brendan Morrison and LW Matt Cooke ... The Rangers are expected to buy out D Darius Kasparaitis at the end of the season. He has only been playing a minimal role and the club hasn't been able to trade him ... Former Atlanta RW Peter Bondra hasn't signed with anybody because he wants a multi-year contract with a base salary of $750,000 and bonuses. Have a nice Sunday.


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