The Detroit Red Wings expect restricted free agent Russian center Pavel Datsyuk to re-sign with the club this weekend, general manager Ken Holland said on Tuesday.
Datsyuk and his agent, Gary Greenstin, have been negotiating since before the NHL lockout began on Sept. 16, 2004. Holland said Greenstin told him on Monday, "We have a deal." Holland said he spoke Tuesday with the 27-year-old Datsyuk.
Detroit has offered Datsyuk a two-year deal worth $3.8 million per season, Holland said. Datsyuk signed a contract this month with Avangard Omsk of the Russian SuperLeague. That contract was matched by Moscow Dynamo, another SuperLeague team that Datsyuk played with during the NHL lockout.
An arbitration hearing to determine which of the Russian teams owned Datsyuk's rights was scheduled for Tuesday. But his desire to return to the Red Wings "was certainly expressed to me by (Datsyuk and Greenstin) during the negotiations," Holland said.
Datsyuk had a breakthrough season in 2003-04, finishing tied for the team lead in scoring with 30 goals and 38 assists for 68 points, AP reports.