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He’s really gone: Pavel Datsyuk signs two-year KHL deal

Russia v USA - 2016 IIHF World Championship Ice Hockey: Bronze Medal Game

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 22: Pavel Datsyuk #13 of Russia skates against USA at Ice Palace on May 22, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images)

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It’s not surprising news, but for fans of the magical forward, it’s a sobering reality: Pavel Datsyuk really is gone from the NHL.

Friday presented the latest round of closure, as Datsyuk officially signed a two-year deal with KHL team SKA, according to reporters including the Detroit Free-Press’ Helene St. James.

Aaron Ward reports that the deal is worth the equivalent to $7.6 million overall.

While Datsyuk carries a $7.5 million cap hit that is currently being absorbed by the Arizona Coyotes, he was slated to receive $5.5 million in salary next season. This move obviously isn’t motivated by money, as Datsyuk decided to return home to Russia after years of contemplation.

It was a great run, but days like these really clarify the sad reality that Datsyuk’s NHL days appear to be over.