One of this era's greatest hockey talents is stepping away.
At Alex Semin's retirement hockey game -- Semin announced his own retirement earlier this year -- former Detroit Red Wings superstar and Russian hockey icon Pavel Datsyuk told media in attendance that he plans to retire from professional hockey after an incredible 26-year career split between the NHL and KHL.
Datsyuk, 43, did not play in 2021-22.
Drafted by the Red Wings in the sixth round of the 1998 draft, Datsyuk spent his entire NHL career in Detroit, racking 314 goals and 604 assists for 918 points in 953 games. During that time, Datsyuk's magical on-ice moves became the stuff of legend, serving as a key influence for an entire generation of prospective young players about what can be accomplished on NHL ice.
Datsyuk won his fair share of awards in North America as well, capturing two Stanley Cups, three Selke trophies, and four Lady Byng awards while being named an All-Star in 2009-10.
Heading back to Russia full-time in 2016, Datsyuk proceeded to write yet another impressive career chapter in the KHL, scoring 168 points in 221 games for St. Petersburg SKA and Yekaterinburg Automobilist while playing well into his 40s.
On the international stage, Datsyuk led Russia to lofty heights, as well. He captained the Olympic team to a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, earned another gold medal for his country at the World Championship in 2012, and was named the best forward and a tournament All-Star in 2010.
Frankly, there was not a level of hockey that Datsyuk did not excel at. And with the announcement that he is officially hanging it up, the influence he has left on fans across the globe will not be forgotten.