REPORT: Detroit Red Wings captain hints at retirement date

Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will most likely not play out the final years of the 12-year $73-million contract he signed in 2009. In an interview with Sweden’s Radiosportens, the 36-year-old winger stated just as much.

Zetterberg’s salary will pay him $7 million this season but then drops to $3.35 million next season. To make matters worse for those hoping he stays, his salary is only $1 million per year for the final two years of his contract.

From the Detroit News:

Translated from the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, Zetterberg said “the only reason why we wrote such a long contact was because of the payroll. It is quite obvious that you try to fool the system. Actually, I may have two years left, but I have also learned to take one year at a time. But I will probably not play until then (2020-21 season, when the contract expires).”

The Red Wings captain is coming off a year in which he gained his highest point total since 2011, leading the team with 68 points and 51 assists. But with the Wings missing the playoffs last year, a first for Zetterberg, the 14-year-veteran may be questioning the value of playing until 2021 or even staying in Detroit.

“If you’d asked me seven years ago, I probably would have said I’d like to stay in Detroit, but now I’m pretty certain I’ll move back home,” Zetterberg said. “After 15 years Detroit is also home, I have a lot of friends there, but I miss Sweden more and more.”

Whenever Zetterberg decides to retire, he will leave a giant hole in the hearts of Red Wings fans everywhere.  From Stevie-Y, to Nicklas Lidstrom, to Z, he has been everything you’d want in a Captain: tough, plays with tenacity, and represents his team with integrity. It’ll be a sad day in Hockeytown when No. 40 hangs up his skates.

Written by Matt Bassin

Born in L.A., raised in Detroit and SoCal. Born Green and White, but am an Arizona Alumnus with my degree in Journalism. Have worked for newspapers as a writer/editor, and as an on-air talent for sports radio. Follow the Lions, Red Wings, Tigers, Pistons and Lakers. Go Green!

ESPN, Marvel Comics turn Michigan Wolverines and Florida Gators into superheroes

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Michigan Football Boo Carter Tennessee

LOOK: Browns rookie Jabrill Peppers takes knee during national anthem