TRAVERSE CITY, Mich — Hank’s career is over. Today, general manager Ken Holland confirmed at Training Camp that Henrik Zetterberg’s back will sideline him from hockey for good.
Henrik Zetterberg will he placed on Long Term IR, Ken Holland says. His back condition is degenerative and his career is over— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) September 14, 2018
This comes as little surprise to Red Wings fans, after a summer full of uncertainty as to whether he would play this season or not, the team will now be without perhaps their best offensive and defensive player.
The only positive to come out of this news is that it will open up a valuable roster spot, which means the team could get another injection of youth. Holland explains that further playing hockey could increase the chance of degeneration, which would lead to even bigger problems:
#RedWings Holland: If he plays professional hockey, it’s going to accelerate the degeneration & if he does get a bad hit or something, then he’s risking a significant back surgery. Henrik has decided that his quality of life is more important than taking the risk of back surgery.— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) September 14, 2018
Zetterberg, a former 210th overall pick in 1999, tallied 960 points in 1,082 NHL games throughout his career. The 37-year-old has three years left on his contract, so that means the team will be taking the LTIRetirement path — much like they are with Johan Franzen.
This is a developing story, stick with WIIM for updates throughout the day.