Detroit general manager Ken Holland announced today that team captain Henrik Zetterberg’s back condition will keep him from returning to play. His career is over and he will ride out the final three years of his contract on long-term injured reserve.
#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
The announcement does not come as a surprise, with each update on Zetterberg’s condition over the summer getting progressively worse.
While the team will be without its leader, Zetterberg going on LTIR does solve their salary cap situation. Additionally, the team could look to move his contract (or that of Johan Franzen, also “LTIRetired”) to a team that needs to get to the salary cap floor.
The Red Wings are not expected to replace Zetterberg as captain this season, instead rolling with three alternate captains. Dylan Larkin will likely wear the third A alongside Justin Abdelkader and Niklas Kronwall.