“I’ve already said and I repeat — until it is a top league, even though it is progressing, I will play overseas.”
That’s Pavel Datsyuk speaking to a Russian news outlet (so overseas=North America) on the possibility of him “pulling an Alexander Radulov” and bolting to the Kontinental Hockey League while still under contract in the NHL.
At first glance, that quote is reassuring. However, the “until” part seems to leave things somewhat ope-ended, as Yahoo! Sports’ Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski noted today. Of course, the chances of the KHL ever being something more than merely a destination attractive only to mid-level and aging stars are slim, as Greg points out. Top-tier stars like Pavel Datsyuk are far less likely to take off.
Still, possessive Red Wings fan that I am, it’s mildly disturbing that Pavel would suggest he’d entertain the idea. Perhaps something was lost in the translation.