Datsyuk leaving Red Wings to play in Russia-based KHL

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MONTREAL, QC - MARCH 29: Pavel Datsyuk #13 of the Detroit Red Wings skates during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on March 29, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Pavel Datsyuk is leaving the Detroit Red Wings with a year left on his contract, saying it’s time to return home and play in the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League.

The 37-year-old Datsyuk announced his plans Saturday at a news conference at his youth hockey camp in the Detroit area. The move was not a huge surprise. Toward the end of the season, he was quoted in a Detroit Free Press story saying he would retire from the NHL, but Datsyuk later told reporters there was a chance he could change his mind.

He said Saturday his final decision came when he was on vacation with his family recently.

Datsyuk, a native of Sverdlovsk, Russia, says he intends to play in the KHL. He did not say for how much longer.

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