Former Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk established himself as one of the top two-way forwards in recent National Hockey League history. And to think of him wearing any other NHL uniform is unthinkable.
But that’s nearly what happened before he signed a seven year contract extension in 2007. The two sides had been experiencing substantial difficulty in coming to an agreement on a new deal, and at one point, consideration was being given to getting something in return rather than lose him to free-agency for nothing.
The player reportedly being considered in return was then-New Jersey Devils forward Scott Gomez. At the time, a Datsyuk for Gomez deal would have made sense. The former had just came off an 87 point campaign, while the latter put up 84 points. Thankfully, Datsyuk was inked to a new deal prior to the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and went on to record two consecutive 97 point seasons and help the Red Wings to the 2008 title.
Meanwhile, it was almost all downhill for Gomez. He was signed to a massive deal by the New York Rangers that saw him only complete two years of the deal before being traded to Montreal and then eventually bought out.
Oh, and there was that whole going a calendar year without scoring a goal.
Let’s just say the Red Wings dodged a huge bullet by avoiding that deal.