By @MichaelCaples –
Henrik Zetterberg’s hockey career has come to an end.
UPDATE: Comments from Henrik Zetterberg, as shared by the Red Wings on Twitter.
“Obviously it’s emotional. It’s been 15 years here. Even though I knew I was on my last couple years, I wish that I could play a little bit longer.”
A degenerative back condition has forced the Red Wings’ captain into early retirement; he is signed through 2020-21.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland stated that Zetterberg was done playing hockey during the start of the team’s training camp today in Traverse City.
#RedWings Holland said Zetterberg has decided he can no longer play due to degenerative back condition. Has consulted doctors and nothing they can do.
— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) September 14, 2018
Zetterberg will be placed on long-term injured reserve, giving salary-cap relief to a team that was over the limit heading into the 2018-19 season.
The Wings’ captain has spent his entire NHL career in Hockeytown after being drafted by Detroit in the seventh round of the 1999 NHL Draft.
Zetterberg, tasked with following Nick Lidstrom as the captain of the Red Wings, has recorded 960 points in 1,082 games. He was the Conn Smythe winner in the Wings’ 2008 Stanley Cup championship.