Detroit Red Wings’ captain Henrik Zetterberg will miss the start of the season and his career could be over.
Zetterberg hasn’t been able to train all summer due to a lingering back injury and he recently confirmed that he will miss training camp and the start of the upcoming campaign. [via Aftonbladet]
Zetterberg has been dealing with back issues since withdrawing from the Olympics back in 2014. He underwent surgery that spring but has only missed five games in the four seasons since.
The Swedish centre has three years left on his contract that carries a $6.083 cap-hit. With his entire season in question, the Red Wings are expected to place him on long-term injured reserve and get some salary cap relief.
Without Zetterberg, the Red Wings’ centre depth looks bleak. Frans Nielsen figures to see a bump in playing time and Dylan Larkin will be leaned on heavily to carry the load offensively. Luke Glendening is their fourth line centre, which leaves Andreas Athanasiou and Darren Helm to fill out the final centre role. The injury could also open the door for Michael Rasmussen to make the team. Rasmussen had 59 points (31G / 28A) in 47 regular season games and added 33 points (16G / 17A) in 17 playoff games with the Tri-City Americans (WHL).
If Zetterberg’s career is over, which it is too early to tell, he will finish with 337 goals and 623 assists (960 points) in 1,082 career regular season games. Zetterberg is also a two-time All-Star, one-time Stanley Cup winner and Conn Smythe Trophy winner.