The Detroit Red Wings announced on Wednesday that restricted free agent forward Henrik Zetterberg signed a four-year deal to remain with the team. As per club policy, the financial terms were not announced, but the contract is reportedly worth $2.65 million per season.
Zetterberg’s signing comes just days after restricted free agent Pavel Datsyuk agreed to a deal in his native Russia, costing the Red Wings one of their top young forwards.
After a long negotiation process (Zetterberg was unsigned throughout the lockout that cost the league the 2004-05 season), the two parties finally agreed on an amount that would convince Zetterberg to give up one year of unrestricted free agency.
“Something his agent and I talked about over the course of the month is trying to get a long-term deal done that both of us were comfortable with,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland told the Canadian Press. “We were able to do that.”
Zetterberg let the Swedish Elite League in scoring in the 2004-05 season, scoring 50 points in 50 games with Timra.
Holland said that Zetterber is “just now coming into the prime of his career. He dominated in Sweden last year and he’s continued to develop. He’s a young player we want to build around.”
Meanwhile, Datsyuk is unlikely to return to the NHL this season.
“His agent told me his contract in Russia does not include an out-clause,” Holland said. “I’m operating under the assumption that we don’t have Pavel for this season.”
The Red Wings have $5.5 million in salary cap space remaining and would like to sign three more forwards before the start of the season.