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01-15-2009, 11:33 AM
  #124
SlavaKozlov
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Akron, OH
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for my 2 cents on the D vs Z debate going on (which, IMO, is dumb, because they are both Wings now...) I give the nod to Datsyuk as the better player. Z has played incredible when paired with Dats, and this season shows that. While Z is still hovering around a point-per-game pace, he hasn't been as flashy as Datsyuk has been lately, and Datsyuk is carrying a line with Franzen and Holmstrom. Babcock, no doubt, switched the lines up to get Hossa and Z together to hopefully spark their offensive play and find the chemistry "sweet spot". However, Datsyuk has been one of the most offensively dominant players (right up there with 'Vech, Crosby and Malkin) since mid-December, playing without the other two best offensive players on the team (Hossa and Z) recently.

However, I also think Datsyuk's current contract in one hell of a bargain for the Wings. If Datsyuk were to be a pending UFA for this season, he would be worth in the $7-8 million range we are discussing Z might get. However, Z is a bigger bargain than Datsyuk now at $2.65 or whatever million per. It does no good to compare the salaries, becase the signings of Crosby, Malkin, Thornton, Ovechkin, even Vanek, Briere, Gomez, Drury, etc, etc, etc... have bumped up the salary spectrum from when Datsyuk signed. If anything, teh Wings are lucky they were able to lock Datsyuk in for 7 years at $6.7 mil per.

Also, Datsyuk's deal was signed before he did really anything in the playoffs, he then went on to have two dominant playoffs seasons. Z has a Conn Smythe under his belt BEFORE signing his big payday deal. Can't really compare the two from a negotiation standpoint, because, IMO, Datsyuk proved himself worthy of the deal and exceeded the worth after he signed it, as opposed to Z who has a trophy and a lot of goals and playoff success to back himself up in the negotiations.

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