Datsyuk set to return vs. Sharks

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Datsyuk set to return vs. Sharks

SAN JOSE Red Wings superstar forward Pavel Datsyuk is set to return on Saturday night at HP Pavilion, when the Sharks host Detroit.

Datsyuk has been out for nearly a month with a knee injury suffered on Feb. 21, but skated in his regular place between Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas Holmstrom on Friday morning at Sharks Ice.

Looks like it, yeah. Looking forward to playing tomorrow, Datsyuk said, when asked if he was ready to rejoin the team.

The man voted by his peers as the best player in the NHL not named Sidney Crosby is anxious to get back on the ice. He hasnt enjoyed his view from the press box and on television.

Its tough to watch hockey because you always want to play, he said. You want to go with your teammates, skate, and everything. Every day its tougher and tougher. Its too much emotion when you watch a game, its better to play.

He also expects a tough game from the Sharks, who have beaten the Red Wings twice this season, although Detroit claimed a 3-2 win in the most recent game at Joe Louis Arena on Feb. 19.

Its a good team but now its the end of the season. Every team is fighting for the playoffs. Every game is very tough. Its going to be a challenging game tomorrow, for sure, Datsyuk said.

His teammates are also excited to see him back in action, as the Red Wings will try and snap a three-game losing streak against the club that has ended their playoff run the last two seasons.

In my mind, anyway, hes the best player in the world. Any time you can get a player of his caliber back in the lineup, its always a good thing, Niklas Kronwall said.

Hes got that presence with him. All the superstars do. Nick Lidstrom is the same way. Any time a guy like that comes back in the lineup, it makes their surroundings better, as well. Obviously, were excited about that, and wed like to turn this around right now.

Lidstrom remains out with an ankle injury suffered on Feb. 25, and has returned to Detroit ahead of the team. Johan Franzen left the ice early in practice and is questionable for Saturdays game with reported back spasms.

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

The Sharks officially announced the signing of defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract on Tuesday, as well as Swedish forward Filip Sandberg to a two-year contract.

Simek’s deal was reported on Monday and confirmed by NBC Sports California. The contract is valued at $925,000 for the 2017-18 season, a source confirmed. The 24-year-old defenseman spent the past five seasons in the Czech league, posting 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating last season. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHL website.

In 211 career games in the Czech league, he posted 91 points (37g, 54a) and a plus-51 rating.

"Radim is a quick transition defenseman who drives the play offensively and plays with a physical edge," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We like his offensive instincts especially on special teams and think his game will translate well in North America."

Sandberg, 22, has 71 points (25g, 46a) in 204 career games in the Swedish league. Last season, he posted 25 points (8g, 17a) and a plus-17 rating in 52 games.

Sandberg is set to make $742,500 in 2017-18 and $792,500 in 2018-19, a source confirmed.

The five-foot-nine, 180-pound Stockholm native also competed in the World Jr. Championships in 2013 and 2014, helping Sweden win silver both years.

"Filip is a very creative player who sees the ice well and can create offense in limited space," Wilson said. "He plays a high-pressure, puck-pursuit game and his battle level is something we have been impressed with, especially against older players. We are excited for him to join our organization."

The contracts for Simek and Forsberg are two-way deals, allowing them to play for the AHL Barracuda next season.

Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic

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AP

Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic

The Sharks have signed Czech defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract.

The two-way deal, originally reported by Radio Praha in the Czech Republic, is expected to be announced by the Sharks later this week, according to a source. Simek just finished competing for his country in the 2017 IIHF World Championships, skating in all eight games for the Czech Republic while posting one goal, one assist, 11 shots and a minus-two rating.

Simek, 24, has spent the last five seasons in the Czech League. In 42 games for Liberec in 2016-17, he posted 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHF website.

The New York Rangers were also interested in Simek, according to the report.

Simek will likely begin next season with the AHL Barracuda.

The Sharks have signed a number of free agents out of Europe in recent seasons, including Joonas Donskoi in 2015 and Marcus Sorensen and Tim Heed last May.