Yesterday, in the Red Wings' stunning loss to the Lightning, the hockey world suffered an irreplaceable loss. Pavel Datsyuk, arguably the greatest player in the game has retired from the NHL.
Datsyuk had not been as good as in previous years since he wore his ankles down to the tendons and had to have braces put in. Of course, damage to his ankles is to be expected when he gave all he had to the game.
His work ethic was incredible, and he was my favourite player. He gave everything he had and won two Stanley Cups as a result for his hard work. Thank you Pavel Datsyuk, class player, you will be missed. You are truly a legend.
—Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman
"He has more moves and vision still in the bag that we haven’t seen yet.”
—ESPN analyst Darren Pang
"He’s so gifted, so smart, he’s got a great temperament for the game, too.”
—Former All-Star Brett Hull
“I still say he’s the smartest player I’ve ever played with. Pavel sees the game as well as any of the elite players in this league.”
"Everything he does is exciting to watch.”
—Former Red Wings coach Dave Lewis
“Some of the things he’s done are truly amazing. Those are not normal skills. Those are way, way up there in the stratosphere, and you shake your just head after he does it. And he does it on a consistent basis. He’s a special player.”
—Panthers GM Rick Dudly
“Datsyuk’s moves still dazzle teammates, even those who play on his line. Pretty much every day he is doing something you don’t think you can do out there.”
—Teammate Tomas Holmstrom
“I don’t know if there is a player stronger on his skates than Pavel.”
—Teammate Nicklas Lidstrom
Goodbye, Mr. Datsyuk, and good luck in all your future endeavors. You have left an imprint on the hockey community, and your loss is irreplaceable.